September 4, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten

My oldest son, my firstborn, the child who first made me a mom five years ago, went off to Kindergarten today.  Truth be told, I didn't sleep a wink the night before.  I was obviously much more nervous about it than he was!   I'm so glad my anxiety didn't rub off on him.  After praying in the car this morning and parting goodbye with a kiss and hug, he marched along and didn't even turn back.

He surprised me.  I thought for sure, at the very least, he would tear up and quiver his lips.  But no, he just went in and followed the teacher without even so much as a blink.

It's funny.  I always thought I'd celebrate and dance in the streets the day I could send my children off to school full-time.  But it's actually quite bittersweet.  I want to do everything in my power to protect him, keep him safe, keep him from feeling sad, lonely, or alienated,and falling prey to peer pressure or bullying.  But I realize I need to let go of my own fears instead of imposing them on him.  God is watching over him.  I know that.  And I have to trust that every day.

I did miss him for those few hours.  And I know my little guy missed him, too.

CJ is happiest when he's with his little brother.

And daddy was so proud this morning!

And so was Grandpa.

And we can't forget Grandma and even our dog, Jazz.

All in all, the day could not have been better.

CJ, we are so incredibly proud of you on your first day of Kindergarten!  You usually have such a hard time adjusting to new things.  At the Kindergarten screening back in June, you cried and refused to participate.  The guidance counselor, other teachers, and I had to calm you down and coax you in.  What a difference this morning was from just a couple months ago!  You were so brave and did such an amazing job!  I was worried, because if you had a hard time, I knew I would, too.  If you broke down in tears, so would I!  But if you could be brave, then I could, too.

I praise God for giving you (and me) courage and peace today.

Love you, my big, brave boy!


June 12, 2013

Five and Beyond

[Celebrating the gift of 5 wonder-filled, joy-infused, adventure-never-ending years of life
(pictured here with his brother & sweet cousins)! ]

Dear CJ,

On June 10th, we celebrated your 5th birthday with family.  I know it's so cliche, but I really can't believe how quickly time flies!  You went from a little peanut to this tall exuberant boy in what seems like a matter of minutes.  I remember trying so hard to imagine what you would be like while carrying you in my womb.  I dreamt of the endless possibilities for your future and could not wait to meet and hold you.  Five years later, I still dream of the possibilities and still am eager to see what kind of man you will become.

At five, I can already see the making of a young man with a strong personality.  In fact, you showed that side at 15 months and haven't turned back since.  You know what you want and don't want and aren't afraid to vocalize it.  This can be quite frustrating for a parent, but I believe (and am really, really hoping) it's a quality that will become a positive attribute in the future.  You are quite determined at whatever task is at hand and will get frustrated if it doesn't turn out the way you want.  And God forbid we try to get you to do something you don't want to!  Trying new things can be quite challenging for you, and it takes you a while to adjust (i.e. preschool, catechism club, swimming class).  You are certainly not laid back like your father.  In fact, you are a spitting image of me . . . looks, personality, and all (except, to my dismay, your disdain of spicy food).  Determined, easily frustrated, impatient, bossy . . . not qualities I would boast about.

There are some wonderful attributes though!  What I admire most about you is your curious mind.  You want to know how things work, soaking up everything around you and trying your best to process the information with what you already know.  And you're not afraid to be creative and think outside the box, either.  Anything and everything is possible.  There are no limits to your imagination.

And you still loves your veggies.  Friends told us you'd probably outgrow your love of vegetables at age 5, but it's really the only thing you'll eat.  I don't know too many other parents who have to yell at their kid to "Stop eating just your vegetables!  Have some chicken or meat, too!"

Though there are many days I am easily frustrated with coming head-to-head with this little walking-talking mirror of mine, I love you with all my heart.  I'm being refined and changed every day because of you, and I understand grace in a way I never knew before.  I also see great potential for you to become a man who is loving, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, and giving - just like your father.  It's my prayer you'll continue to grow in character, as I do so as well parenting you and your brother each day.

You are my joy and treasure, CJ.  I love you dearly.  Happy 5th birthday, sweetheart!



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