Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Halloween, and a conference

With the news of Mia and Addy weighing on me the past few weeks, it's been hard for me to blog about the family stuff that so often is taken for granted as run-of-the-mill. When in actuality, it is precious. And as much as my heart continues to feel grief for these two families, I also know it's important to live and continuing to record that living for my family. With that said, here are some long overdue Smith updates.


Gone are the days I can pick my son's Halloween costume for him. He's been a monkey, a skunk, a dragon and a dinosaur, but this year it was completely his choice. And he was the happiest teenage mutant ninja turtle the sewers had ever seen. Luke is at that age where a costume isn't really a costume, it's a change of persona. He kept making sure that "Nobody can tell it's me under here, right?"

Gone also are the days of me and him holding hands to each door. He was off with his neighbor friends the minute we stepped outside.

We live in a small neighborhood, just 18 homes. So once we made the rounds here, Roger and Luke headed to a larger neighborhood across the street to continue the candy haul. Laney and I were content to call it a night. She may have been an owl, but this girl was ready for her bed by 7:30 as usual!

Halloween night was a "hoot" for all of us.

Halloween day, however, I could've skipped right over. Every other Wednesday Luke doesn't have school, so it was a looong day of "How much longer?" whines.

Here's my ninja boy in all his green glory.

And some more pictures of the cutest owl the forest ever did see:

I was looking at pictures on my mom's fridge the other night and there is one of Luke from this past Christmas and I couldn't believe how different he looked to me even from nine months ago. He really is growing up, both in looks and behavior. I feel like he's lost the last of his "baby" face. He is becoming more and more independent and I am having a hard time believing he has two months of kindergarten under his belt.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

As a fifth grade teacher, my husband has sat down at conference time with hundreds and hundreds of parents. But this was the first time on the "other side of the table" for him. We were excited to hear how Luke was doing beyond his daily "green stars". Each day, the kids color their star chart green, yellow, or red. The teacher will send home a comment if the child has had a "yellow" or "red" day.

Out of 26 assessed areas, Luke "passed" 20. And the six areas where improvement were encouraged were not academic. Nope. They had to do with being a bit too chatty and social. Too social! Considering Luke was pretty much isolated his first two and a half years of life, this is a problem we celebrate! How much did I worry about Luke not being exposed to nursery-type settings his first few years? I'm pretty sure God, as our Creator, knew we worrisome humans needed specific instructions regarding the pointlessness of worry: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:27)

So my little social butterfly tends to rush through his independent work so he can get to the social activities. Or, he's busy socializing and then has to rush to get his worksheet done.

We love that Luke loves his friends. Both Roger and I were shy in elementary school (me painfully so), so it's important to us to encourage his need for socializing. We just want him socializing at the proper times in school. Recess, activity center ... chat away! Reading groups, rug time ... Keep the chatting to a minimum.

Mrs. Suther was very pleased with Luke's reading and math skills. "Above and beyond" the standard at this point in the year were her words. She is not an effusive teacher, but she did let us know that Luke is doing great in her class and she would have trouble picking out the "heart kid" if she didn't know different. He loves music class and he loves library. He loves riding the bus home each day. Coloring? Not his fave.

I feel blessed beyond belief that Luke is thriving in school. That we are able to have a "typical" parent-teacher conference about him. Even that we get to discipline the rough edges. That we get to organize play dates for his social little heart and pack his backpack every morning. That we get to battle the after-school grumps and help him with his "homework."

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

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