First And Last Days

Look at this face.
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Now look at this face.
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What’s different?

The second picture is that of a rising second-grader, and I can’t believe how time has flown. Ash had an excellent year of school… his favorite subject? Everything. I can’t get him to pin down what he likes to do best in school. I finally asked him, “If you had to only do one subject every day for a whole week, what would it be?” He replied with, “Can I just do a different subject every day?” Laughing. “Nope. Only one.” Thinking for a while he piped up with, “Math.” Ahhh, yes, a good subject for our little thinker.

We celebrated an excellent finish to his first grade year by going to see UP and then out to Dave’s with B’s parents who are here helping me while B’s with the BABE’s. (Side note: he’ll arrive in New Orleans today and he is having a wonderful time.) (Second side note: If you are anything like me, take a bunch of kleenex with you to UP.)

When Ash started school in the fall, I had no idea what his year would hold. While I knew we wanted a classical education for our son, and while I knew I wanted a Christian school that had a community outreach and open doors for all, I still didn’t know what to expect.

Y’all, we are so blessed.

Not only was my child loved and taught, it far exceeded any expectations I might have had. Not only did the other moms rally around our family when I went through more cancer treatments, but they cared for my child, too. And his education? I love that he came home having listened to Handel and painted Matiesse, but they had numerous oral presentations that challenged his fears and helped him be comfortable in front of people, building his self-confidence without encouraging pride.

I am a huge champion of the parent being the main educator. We walk alongside our schools to train our children, not expecting the school to do all the work. Over this past year, there were many ways I couldn’t walk alongside my boy the way I wanted, and my heart ached. The tears flow now as I write. Yes, because of the pain of what I missed, but that is minimal. The gratitude for a teacher, a board, a faculty, other moms that loved my child and filled in the gaps where I was unable. It is overwhelming.

It is wonderful.

This past year has brought a lot of change for Ash, and I’ve watched him grow and mellow and start being more of a boy than a “little” boy. Always thoughtful, he sits with me to have conversations about life and loves to lay his head on my shoulder and talk. He’s discovered the joy of friendships and the pain of being left out. He’s discovered that manners aren’t just for home and is learning to respect authorities other than B and me. He’s learning that fast work doesn’t always mean good work. He’s learning that he needs his space from his friends sometimes. He’s writing and reading and drawing. He’s thinking and figuring and wondering.

He’s changing.

And as much as I beg him to stop, he’s growing.

But you know what, that’s all wonderful, too.

And Ash.

Well, he’s the most wonderful part of it all.

That part will never change.

4 responses to “First And Last Days”

  1. 🙂 I literally just winked at the computer. Ash is growing into such a respectable little man. He truly is a great buddy and such a good thinker too. Congrats Ash (and Brian as you arrive in New Orleans) Miss you guys as always.

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  2. What a handsome young man! It sounds like an incredible school & a great 1st year!

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  3. I think it’s hard to watch the children go from little boy/girl, to boy/girl. But of course, it IS the natural progression of things, now isn’t it?!

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  4. The second picture – he looks so much older! Wow! Is he returning to that same school next year? It’s such a blessing when the school situation goes well! 🙂

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