Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If you're tardy or absent too much - or if you act bad - mommy and daddy might go to jail. I have no idea if that's true or not.

So day one of school was perfect even down to the home made pop tarts that I made for dinner.  Well, not FOR dinner.  But after dinner, but it was really why the boys ate what I fixed anyway.  Like the chicken crossing the road dilemma.. and the why of it all?  Why do 3 boys eat a ham and potato au gratin casserole with a side of sauteed squash?  To get to the homemade pop tarts on the other side.  Yum.   

This is GI Joe, ready for action.  But not for school  - carrying weapons like that.  But I did find him in the den dressed and ready anyway.  Just like this.  It's kinda the look I get when I force my kids to eat ham and potato au gratin casserole with a side of sauteed squash. 

Because really, something freakish and insane comes over me the first day of school each year and my refrigerator is fully stocked and the meals are planned for the week and all school uniforms are folded and easy to find. And all kids got out of the bed excited and early and didn't miss the bus. 

But day 2 had fits.  And no socks.  And pants without buttons.  And there was missing hair gel.  And everyone was mean to everyone.  And no one helped anyone.  And kid 2 just wanted to go to the bathroom in private but we couldn't, as a family, allow that to happen for him.  There was also toothpaste on the dog and kid 1 wore headphones so he couldn't hear me ask him to take out the trash.   And when I drove up to the throw them out drop off spot at the school, it seemed we had been awake for way too many hours already.  

But this is the reality of it all.  From this day forward... like wedding vows..... my little ones are bound by a commitment, a general expectation, and I think the law... that says they will be in school.   Which is a handy thing to tell them when you're completely dry of other reasons and excuses....  If you're tardy or absent too much - or if you act bad - mommy and daddy might go to jail.  I have no idea if that's true or not. 

We now have an 8th, 7th and 5th grader around these parts.  And the stakes are high as two of them this year have to make decisions about where to attend school next year.  Because that's how we do it here in Big D.  We make it super complicated and the parents crazy worried that our kids will turn out altogether wrong if we send them to our local neighborhood school without first applying everywhere else in town and making them ride buses for an hour each day.  (And when I was in school, back in the day, in Big D, they obviously did nothing to teach me not to use run-on and on and on sentences when writing.)  

But all in all, it's an exciting time.  I told kid 1 that we need to go to lots of high school football games this fall to get the feel of the whole high school thing.  And see where he feels a good fit.  Kid 2, he's staying where he is this year and next so he's riding smoothly along.  He's just happy he hasn't had to start hauling the french horn to and from school each day yet.  I love that, for him, little victories are huge.  

But kid 3, that's where things get a little bumpy.  And I'm sure he's not the only one.  So this is for the kids, really.  And their big people that love the daylights out of them.   

You....... you are so much bigger than all that seems important right now.  You are bigger than your grades and your test scores.  Bigger than the instrument you play or the team you either made or didn't.  Bigger than that adorable cheerleader skirt - which looks darling on you, by the way.  Bigger than the subject you're good at and especially the one you're not.  Bigger than what your teachers think or say or do.  Bigger than the clothes you wear and friends that you choose.  

You are fun and interesting and important....  and making a difference in the life of someone each day that you offer a word or a smile or a helping hand of encouragement.  You are valuable and talented in ways that maybe you've already discovered, and most likely plenty you haven't even thought of yet.

You are bigger than even the biggest moment that lives in your memory - good or bad.  You are bigger than your sport and your car and your buzz cut that's still growing out from the summer.  (And the little bit of skin stuff going on around your middle school years?  You're not the only one.) 

Because you have made a commitment to invest in yourself, you are investing in the lives of all around you.  And that, is huge.  Even if you don't understand it now. 

And when I look at you, I see a kid just getting started on a road that can be a totally planned out path,  or an exciting mystery.  And I see a kid that has so many days and years ahead to do amazing things.  And I see opportunity that I hope my biggest hope that you will recognize and jump on like a comfy bed.

And I am hopeful and thankful and excited for you as you start a new adventure this year.  Because really, it's all an adventure.  All the way to the end.  Keep watching for it. 

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  1. Christi Harris-LazaroAugust 28, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Unfortunately I missed the GI Joe inch and a half plastic weapon that made it into the backpack today.:(

  2. And if the GI Joe weapon set off the metal detector then we know our kids are super safe. I always worry about the pocket knives from scouts and the toy guns that are everywhere around here thoughtlessly making it to school and branding the Walters as a violent dangerous people.


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