Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finishing strong

Today is the last day of summer. Tomorrow my "baby" starts full-day school. We have played hard this summer and although I know I'll appreciate the structure school gives us, I admit I grieved just a little on my run yesterday when I noticed how many leaves were crunching beneath my shoes.

We just got home from a wonderful five days in Black Butte, Oregon. It was just what our little family needed after having daddy away so much at camp this summer. You know how elite athletes do "two-a-day" workouts? Well, we were elite at hitting the pool twice a day. We swam and swam and swam some more. Throw in some bike-riding and in-town eating and we called it one good vacation.

Our house on the ranch is about a 10 minute bike ride to the pool, almost all downhill. So you can imagine how much fun the kids had riding in the trailer. "Pedal faster, Mom!" But their ticket was only one way. No kids allowed in the trailer on the way home ... those uphills are killer!

Leaving the house Thursday morning to head home, the kids called out all the way down the driveway, "Goodbye Black Butte! We love you! See you next year!"

I grew up going to Black Butte every summer and my heart smiles knowing my kids are beginning to fall in love with this place as I did so many years ago.

So. We are home now, our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpacks are bought and filled and we head tonight to Luke's open house at his new school. He is going to be going to Dad's school, the school where Rog has taught for 23 years. We absolutely love Shaw Road, our home school, but it simply comes down to the fact that there is no doubt Luke is going to be well taken care of at Dad's school. We adore his teacher, and she has taught almost as long at this school. She and Roger went to college together and she is a dear friend to us. I get that flip in my stomach thinking of Luke having such a wonderful teacher this year. She will be a fantastic help to us as we transition to this world of full-day school.

"Uncle Al" is Roger's teaching partner (also teaching at Woodland for 20+ years). Luke and Daddy will ride to school each morning and hang out for a little while in Rog and Allan's classroom. Pretty darn special.
This boy is ready. He has matured so much in the past six months, trying new things he never would have last summer and really gaining confidence in new situations. When he didn't bat an eye when I dropped him off at VBS in July, I knew we had turned a corner. I'm not naive to think we may never have his separation anxiety crop up again, but the improvement we've seen lately is encouraging to this mama's heart.

Academically and socially, I have no doubts he is ready for first grade. This is a kid who is reading chapter books and can rally the neighborhood kids in a matter of minutes.

Where I've been asking God for peace, however, is for the physical and emotional areas. I am nervous about how he will handle school from 8:25 to 2:45. That is a long day for any first grader, much less a first grader missing a ventricle. I am prepared for some major meltdowns the first few weeks. I just pray that God strengthens him and gives me wisdom and patience! Yes, it's perfectly fine with me if you would pray too :)

Here we go!

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