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I never thought this day would get here.  I know, I should be ashamed of myself for wishing Luke’s last three and a half years away — but I could NOT help myself!  It was never in my career plan to be a stay-at-home mom.  Not because I didn’t appreciate the value of it, but it truly is not in my genetic make-up to spend my days patiently guiding another human being to do anything.  Just ask my former co-workers!  Honestly, once Luke hit 18 months and began his independent, creative, sometimes expensive, often times dangerous adventures, I knew I was in over my head.  So embracing Luke’s first day of kindergarten is not so much about reclaiming my freedom (um, I’m still a mom and wife, folks) as it is about Luke being introduced into a much larger, more exciting world of opportunity.  The thought of his mind expanding exponentially by the second truly excites ME!  Knowing that he is already forming life-altering friendships with his classmates …. WOW!  These are just a couple of reasons why I didn’t cry this morning when he walked confidently into school with not a single look back to me.  Of course, I already have two older (quite amazing) sons that have taken the same walk into the same school and I have the ability to see the results of this incredible learning environment.

As I was editing the “first day” photos, I took time to look into each of their faces, into their eyes and SEE what emotions were at work this morning.  As I did so, I realized that I have more to be concerned about in regards to my oldest two sons than I do my youngest.   I wish I had taken the time to tell Hunter, my fourth grader that struggles with dyslexia and dysgraphia, that all you need to do is give school your best effort.  Approach the classroom just as you do the ball field.  The teachers are your coaches and your classmates are your teammates.  When you have a question, ask your teacher (coach).  When you get in a tough situation and need back-up, turn to one of your classmates (teammates).  You will not win (ace) every test or assignment.  You will get tagged out no matter how fast you run in some cases.  But no matter what — you give it YOUR best effort.  Succeeding in school is not a solitary achievement.  It takes hard work from the entire team!!  So, play hard, play smart and have fun!!!  Hunter would have rolled his eyes at me — but in his heart, he would have gotten the message.

And to my dear, sweet, gentle giant, David — use your heart as your guide.  You sometimes step off YOUR chosen path because you want so desperately to be liked by everyone around you.  What is amazing is that you don’t yet understand that everyone adores you because of who YOU are, not what others want you to be.  And the future that awaits you …. now, that brings tears to MY eyes!  Your desire to learn and explore and KNOW — that is your ticket to the greatest treasures!!!  Your ability to soak up knowledge and your willingness to share that knowledge with others completely humbles me.  With the help of your teachers this year, I really see this as a year when you will begin to spread your wings and soar.  Don’t worry about finding your “voice”, as everyone hears your heart loud and clear!!

And for my little Luke — I may actually shed a tear here and now.  When I look at all that your brothers have achieved in their time at school, my imagination is useless when I try to picture what it will mean to you.  You are my fiercely independent, agonizingly stubborn, but charming and adaptable little man.  I have never seen you meet a challenge that you could NOT conquer.  If you only knew how much your two older brothers admire you, you would never ever feel any insecurity in your world.  We all know that there will be some obstacles placed before you in life, but we all know without a doubt that you will overcome them all.  And if you do happen to take a tumble, we are all right here to give you a hand up.  So throw some dirt on it, Luke and get ready for the game of your life!!

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