It's a little funny to think I'm writing about the last day of school when something as large as Madeline's graduation just occured. But there are just so many great pictures from that day to go through, and when I do, I become misty-eyed and choices are just impossible to make. A sweet post about my daughter's ascent to High School will be up tomorrow. For now, let's talk about the last day of school for these two loves.
Two important chapters in my children's lives are complete: Kindergarten and Middle School. Looking at the picture I took this morning, I could dwell on the fact that Jackson still doesn't look at the camera 90% of the time, and that Madeline is done with this year of school. She's tired and ready for some quality rest. But my focus is on a much bigger picture.
My heart is filled with so much joy for my children and how much they've grown. My son can read independently, he can write, and most importantly he graduated from speech therapy much sooner than anyone anticipated. He can speak and do so beautifully. When my husband and I look back at the beginning of the year, we were filled with so many concerns. Was he really ready for Kindergarten? How far behind would he be in relation to the other children? How hard would he struggle? Would he be teased? I am thankful that God was listening, and always there to calm us with a hand on our shoulders. Jackson made the best friends this year. Never was he teased for his thoughtful way of taking his time to speak. We were relieved to know he was ahead of the curve in some areas, which allowed us to help him focus on others.
This morning I listened to him firing off a list of commands to his sister as they dueled with lightsabers and I don't receognize the child he was on the first day of Kindergarten. He has gained so much confidence! He has grown mentally, emotionally, and physcially. He is a very bright little boy with an even brighter future, and we owe his school a great debt of thanks for guiding him through this year. He is such a treasure.
Madeline faced her first real academic challenges this year. For a girl who always breezed through previous grades with little effort, it was a year of working harder than ever before, learning to be humble in the face of her first failure, and growing stronger and more capable. Failing is an important life lesson~learning how to recover from it even moreso. But it was hard for my daughter. Defeat is such an easy beast to give into, and Madeline had nagging doubts.
As parents we want to make things right when they fall apart, but the reality is we can't always do that. We can only do so much. At a certain point, your child has to see things through the rest of the way on their own. Madeline has always been pretty mature for her age, but I have seen a new depth to her character that has amazed me. She proved to herself how resilient she really is, how strong she can be. She never gave up, knew that we were behind her 100%, and it brought her a new level of confidence that will be an incredible asset during the next four years. She found that place within that pushed her to keep going and succeed, and watching her graduate with highest honors, being recognized for her constant service to the community, seeing her succeed despite the challenges she faced...it was all worth it. We could not be happier for her or more proud.
Today begins our summer season. I'm sure we'll have lots of fun, eat great food, celebrate exciting moments. But a part of me is ready for the new school year. Seeing how much my children grew, how they became even happier people, I can only imagine what great fortunes await them in the Fall.
Happy Summer everyone!