Monday, August 25, 2008

Another August, Another Chapter - Turn the Page

August is time of endings and beginnings in our home.

"Summer," which is to say, the summer break from school comes screeching to a halt. There is a return to "normalcy" (whatever that is in our lives) - of schedule - that comes as a relief for me.

With each new grade comes new opportunities, new challenges.

Two weeks into the school year, and Jack has brought home three notes that "he's having trouble following directions."

Really? Hmmm. Didn't see that one coming. I guess his teacher informs us of this in case we didn't know that about him already. Although I'm not in the classroom when these power struggles occur, I know exactly what's going on. Jacky's teacher was Christopher's way back when. She's learning quickly how different they are.

She, no doubt, in her attempt to assert her appropriate place as the leader in the room, gives an instruction to class that all are to follow.

And all do, save one.

Guess who?

When she focuses more directly on him to comply, he has this look that seems to indicate the following:

"Madam, Princes do not follow orders....they give them."

Yea, welcome to my world, Mrs. Teacher.

And then there's Christopher.

Since his birth, he's had a nickname from me - "Little Bit." Well, it no longer applies. That boy has grown so much in the last year it is frightening. Tall. Thin. A good looking kid. His mother has contributed mightily to his looks.

Can't keep him in pants or shoes. And for a kid who likes, shall we say, the finer things in life, it can become an expensive proposition.

At the cusp of 13 this boy, uh excuse me, young man is coming into his own. He's just made his debut as starting center for the Little Red Devils. The boy looks good, I have to say. No problems delivering the ball to the QB - came off the line and made his block...looking good. He got a phone this Summer. His very own. With some wisdom, we concluded that we might as well purchase the unlimited texting option on our family plan.

First month's bill?

I had 24 text messages for the month.

Christopher? Almost 2,000.

How is that possible?

Andrew is a Sophomore. No longer the rookie at the behemoth of a campus, he knows his way around and scoffs at those stupid freshmen who get in his way. He has just made his debut with the Red Devil Marching Band. I had a lump in my throat as I watched him on the field the other night. He was nervous, but battled through it. In his hands was the horn I marched with. I knew exactly what he was thinking, what he was feeling.

I was so excited for him. Andrew is not a loaner, but never really jumped into "team" activities like Christopher, uh, excuse me, Chris.

Band is a team - and that's good for him.

He's two months away from driving. What do I feel about that? One side of me is relieved to have another driver in the house. The other side is horrified. Welcome to the life of a parent, right?

But there is no time to succumb to the temptation to wallow in the nostalgia of who my children were. The rapids of change are too swift. All I'm left to do is ride them out, give God thanks for the days that are, and navigate, as best I can through them with this profound gift too often and too easily taken for granted -


There may come a time to look back and recall these days. But not today.

Got to go run car pool, cook dinner, help with homework . . .

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