Thursday, June 9, 2011

End of Another School Year

I just have to brag a little....the kids had amazing years! All three who are in school came home today with several awards. They all received a special award for having straight As all year. My two girls also had perfect attendance! Eleanor received the President's Award for her excellence in school, Harry finally made Student of the Month (which he really wanted) and Isabel received a Superlative in Music Award.

I especially enjoyed reading the signatures in Eleanor's yearbook. I can't even tell you how many 14 year old kids commented on how Eleanor had "changed their lives". It seems that being a light in a crazy place like middle school REALLY does make a difference! On Monday night, the choirs had their final concert and Eleanor very casually said, "I am saying a few words during our final song."

Let me tell you...she had this momma sobbing. I am not kidding, I was sobbing - almost making that awful noise when the cry comes from your gut. This kiddo did not just say a few words...she grabbed the microphone with confidence, strutted her way around the stage and even shouted at the end "Once a panther, always a panther!" to the squeals of sixth, seventh and eighth graders crammed in a sweaty gym. Where did this amazing young woman come from?

Harry has had a tough year. He has faced ruthless bullying. All because he skipped a grade. The crazy thing is he was totally accepted in the beginning of the year as the "new kid". But when kids found out he skipped a grade, he suddenly became the target. Some kids actually said things like, "What are you? Stupid?" I wanted to say, "Uh...what are YOU? Stupid!" The momma bear in me really got angry as I had to watch my boy silently suffer. He DID stand up to a bully one day - confronted him and said he would beat the kid up if he said another word. The next day, Harry was known as the "kid who wanted to beat up an innocent kid". Middle schoolers stink! We kept telling Harry that his worth is not found in the kids at school and this would make him stronger. It was very hard to send him off to school each day knowing what he was facing. Joe and I committed to prayer. We prayed every morning that the bullies would turn their attention away from Harry. Praise God - the last month of school was good! He made some good friends who were sorry the listened to the bullies. Thank you, Lord, the year is over!

Isabel, well..could not be more opposite than Harry! She was Miss Popular! We had a slide show of her year and that kid was in almost every picture! Our little ones are being transferred to another school next year and so she had to say goodbye to her friends. Oh, so many tears! She is a shinning light wherever she goes. I will write tomorrow about the book she wrote! Here's a hint...she wrote about flying to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to feed children with HIV. Now what 3rd grader writes a book about that?

Anna and Lincoln giggled all day thinking about going to school next year as they listened to their brother and sisters tell their stories. George is anxious to get back to school and start making better choices. We have worked so, so hard these last few months. There are days I battle between thinking he has a learning disability and he just hasn't caught up yet. I just can't determine if he will ever be able to learn at the rate my other children can and do. He struggles! And he doesn't understand yet, that learning is a life-long thing! He often says, "I can't wait to stop learning." We tell him often that Momma and Daddy love learning - we read to him, in front of him, we teach our children constantly - but he still doesn't see the value in learning. Is that an Ethiopia thing? Or does he simply not have the ability to go past a certain level of cognitive functioning?

As I just tucked them all into bed, they all smiled and shared that it indeed was a good year. Selfishly, I am happy they are home for the summer. Aquatic we come (if we could only get out of the 60s!)

Happy Summer!!!

1 comment:

Bear Creek Mama said...

I wrote a comment, but not sure if processed.

Here's what I remember :-)

You are welcome to some of our heat! It's been hovering around 100 degrees for the last two weeks with no end in sight - I would gladly share!

I had a thought about George. Maybe he is afraid of learning? Maybe he would have to responsible in ways that he doesn't feel capable of? Maybe he feels like he might change if learned more? Maybe he just doesn't think he can? Processing new information, language and concepts can be daunting and his instinct may be to shut down - fear.
We all want to feel safe in our environment and maybe school/learning is not that way for him? Just a thought.

Hope you have a blessed summer!