Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Beginnings

Ah, the start of yet another school year. The frenzy of clothes shopping (shorts must be the proper length), big-kid tennis shoes (no, Mom, not Dora, she's for babies), backpacks and lunch kits. It never fails that year after year, as summer nears its end, the kids and I are ready for school to resume. Of course, by November we're generally pining away for the end of May. Go figure!

This school year has been a huge change for our family. Both kids are now in different schools: Paige has stayed in public school, while Seth has moved to a private one. It's never been any secret that Seth has ADHD and has really struggled through every year; this year, Clint and I wanted it to be different. I could sit here forever and list comparisons between the two schools, but it's enough to say that each child is now in an environment in which they are thriving.

Paige's reading continues to improve and she's now working with her favorite teacher again, Mrs. Connally. She's so proud when she can sound out the words and just soaks up the praise she receives. She bounds off the bus every afternoon and runs to greet her brother (Bubby, I misted you!) then plops down at the kitchen table, scarfs a snack and starts homework.

By this time, Seth and I've already been home for an hour and so far, his homework routine has gone just as smoothly. Each Monday, they have a spelling pretest; a grade of 95 or above gets you out of having to take it again on Friday. Allow me to boast when I say he's yet to take a Friday test!! His handwriting is definitely improving and he seems more patient with himself and others.

There are so many questions that run through my mind:
Is some maturity finally showing itself?
Is it that each kid is in their own school environment?
Will it last?

I'll admit, I'm probably one of the biggest pessimists ever, so it's really hard to see the good happening and not wonder when the other shoe will drop. The more I think about that, the more I realize that it robs the kids of the greatness they achieve each day and that simply isn't fair. Far better, to take things as they come, relish the wondrous, slog through the tough and come out the other side a better person and parent for doing so.

Both my kids prove to me every day that life does hand you lemons. One child will enjoy the lemon as it is...sour and shocking. The other will add a little water and sugar and enjoy the sweet. Neither way is wrong, just different. What will you do with the lemons life gives you?

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