I did not manage to take last day of school pictures. I snapped a quick shot of my middle schoolers running off from the car to the bus stop (we drive them down the hill as the bus does not come up this hill and it is not a short jaunt). The second grader made a cute poster for his teacher. The preschooler finished school last week and has been doing a karate camp this week. The high schooler took his last final yesterday.
This has not been an easy year in various ways (5 kids in 4 schools will do that…). However, I think a few of the main stressors have shown some improvement. I’m sorry that is vague but as the kids get older that is what I can say!
I can just mention a few things I’m grateful for. One is that my 16-year-old truly does care about his academic performance. Some of his classes have been incredibly challenging and so he has been figuring out how to study when things do not come easy. Not because I am nagging but because he wants to. It is paying off and he literally aced one of his finals this week. I’m so proud of him. He’s also been doing a great job learning to drive! He was mocking me for grabbing the car door as he was driving us to Starbucks yesterday (yep, that was his end-of-year goal) but I can see that he really cares about being a safe and courteous driver. That is a good thing!
(And the fact that he is sometimes willing to hang out with me and do things like run 5ks together is an absolute gift.)
The 13-year-old has done a great job adjusting to his new middle school. Our district opened a new school and shuffled about a third of the students over there. It is not easy to switch schools for 7th grade (even if he did get a fair number of his friends going too) but he handled it really well, and sought out a number of activities that have really given him a core group to hang out with, such as jazz band (which meets 3 mornings per week!), and TSA (where he even qualified for nationals! But isn’t going because he wanted to go on our extended family trip — we will make sure he can do this next year). I’ve also been happy to see him seek out things like emceeing the school talent show. This kid is not intimidated by being up on stage!
The 11-year-old started middle school this year (the new middle school is 5-8th) and she has done great too. She was in the school musical and plays in the pep band. She had a lot of changeover in her friend group, but she navigated that quite well, and I’m looking forward to supervising a group play date for her to celebrate the end of the year (do you still call it a playdate for 11 year olds? Maybe a hang out…). I’m also incredibly proud of a brave thing she did when some kids were being cruel in a situation this year. Again, sorry for the lack of details but I am so proud that she is so kind and empathetic.
The 8-year-old! Oh my goodness. He started school during Covid, which was just hard, but this year he has started to find his way. I am continually impressed with his creativity — intellectually and physically. He’s been drawing comics, he can navigate his way up to the top of the rock climbing gym wall, he got promoted to the advanced parkour class, and when he had a playdate recently, he and the friend had created one of those folded fortune-tellers with different activities on it, and then they chose them at random to do. I guess I didn’t need to play cruise director! He is also so kind to his little brother — I am sensing some good leadership skills there.
The 3-year-old is just the cutest little thing. His preschool teachers told me he is so happy and he really is. He loves listening to stories (every night he is negotiating for more) and has transitioned well to his big boy bed. I love how he refers to things — we got some dried mango and he keeps asking for the “dried up mango.” Somehow that sounds a little different!
Anyway, there have been various challenges but so far we’re still chugging along. I was really glad about setting my alarm for 7 a.m. instead of 6:30 a.m. this morning! Some of these mornings have been a grind but now it is summer. Phew!
Photo: No last day of school signs. I’m tired.