Monday, August 18, 2014

To my kids, at the beginning of the school year...

I started writing these out a while back, mostly as a way to document the life changes for my children, but also as an homage to what my blog used to be.

This here blog didn't start out with legal analysis and rants and medical information and all that. Nope. It started off with mundane stories about my family. Of course, back then, the only people reading it were the friends and family members far away. It was a way to keep them up to date on everything.

Then I found my voice. Gradually, I wrote about the kids less and less, in many ways intentionally. My most important job has to always be mom, not writer as far as they are concerned. As a result, I am pretty deliberate about what I share about them.

There are a lot of changes happening in our household this year, even more just on the horizon. These are the things I wish for them this year.

To The Oldest
You are starting 8th grade tomorrow morning, which doesn't even seem possible. We'll be picking out a high school in a couple months and I ask myself all the time how this happened. You were just getting on the bus for Kindergarten, I swear.

This is your last year to goof off before it all starts to count. Do it at least a little bit, but not too much. Please start writing stuff down, or if that won't work, find some kind of organization system that makes sense to you. No one likes deadlines, but they're going to start to matter, and this world doesn't usually care how capable you are, how interesting you are, how intelligent you are or how talented you are....they need you to show them in exactly the manner they demand it.

Be passionate about the things you love, but get the rest of your work done even if you don't love it. Try new things. This year is a new blank page of opportunities, so find something new. Sleep in all the days that you can, try not to scowl at me too badly on the others.

You are learning US History this year. I hope, hope, hope that your teacher will teach you all the things you should know about history, not just the sanitized version history book publishers tend to prefer. Trust that if she won't, I will. Perfect the five paragraph essay, because lord knows you're going to need it in high school.

Stay goofy. Stay genuine. Stay kind. We like you this way.

To Freckles
As I am writing this, you are swimming in the bigger pond for the first time. Middle school. I know you and I know how you are, and I know that there are about a thousand butterflies in your stomach right now, but you can do this. And you will. And it will be amazing.

Just like you.

You know how when you were playing soccer and there would always be that wave of worry that would sink in right before a practice or a game and you'd tell me over and over about how you didn't want to go and you hated it and then your tummy would hurt and then everything would hurt? Remember that? Remember how after you went to that practice or that game we couldn't wipe the smile off of your face? And how YOU LOVED SOCCER even though you hated it just an hour earlier? Remember that?

This entire year is going to be like that. I promise.

This year will be filled with so many new opportunities, new chances, new friends and new experiences. Take chances, meet new people, find things that interest you. Sometimes those might be things that none of your friends are interested in, and that is okay. You'll find people who share your passions even if they don't happen to be people you already know.

Stay interesting. Stay strange. Stay focused. Stay organized.

Don't let anyone change you, you're pretty awesome as is.

To Mini Me
My little ball of what ifs, my little worrier, my tiny firecracker. This year is one that should be a bit calmer, at least as far as school is concerned. That fire in your heart for reading has finally been lit, and now we just have to keep it going. I think we found a strategy that works, and if it takes me reading all the things after you do and seeing every movie ever made about a book, then that's just what we will do.

You're back with some of your besties from years ago this time around and I hope that brings you some calm. You don't love change, but then most people don't I suppose. This is the first year that you'll be the big sister at school, the first one without someone who came before you still around. I know that might seem overwhelming and scary in some ways, but in others it is amazing.

You just get to be you now, not so and so's little sister. Isn't that awesome?

I think so. You're growing up so fast, urging it along even faster than it is already going. If it were up to you, you'd already be in high school, I think. You're so much like me in that way. When I was your age, people always told me to enjoy being a kid. I'll say the same to you knowing that it'll likely never happen, that you'll always be looking ahead...but try, even if it's just sometimes, to remember that you're only 9.

Run as fast as you can, jump and throw and swing on the monkey bars. Don't worry about who is friends with who today, because you already know that tomorrow it will all change anyway.

Just be you. Just worry about you. Just remember to be a kid sometimes. We love you.

To Little Boy
Oh, child. You make me worry. You make me crazy. You make me laugh. You terrify me and amuse me. I know that you'll be okay even when you aren't, honestly I do.

You have so much more to deal with than your siblings ever did at this age, but it doesn't even seem to phase you. You have to go through speech therapy, and it's never bothered you at all. The fact that your speech therapist is pretty gorgeous doesn't hurt either, I suppose. (shhhh, I won't say anything)

I brought an extra meter into the nurse's office today, hating every step I took on the way there. I hate this disease. I hate that you have to worry about it. I hate that I have to negotiate every little detail about how to take care of you with a bunch of other people and that I have to trust them to do it.

Then there is you. You just walked in, asked for the poker and checked your blood sugar without any issue. You're the calm here, the center, the strongest and bravest little boy I know, and to you it's all irrelevant. This is just who you are.

I think this will be a big year for you, not just because of all that silly diabetes nonsense, but because of all the things you care about. Reading. Friends. Sports. You love, love, love school...almost as much as you love to spend time with your classmates.

Keep that passion for learning. Keep pushing yourself. Keep wearing your heart on your sleeve.

We'll worry about the rest.

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