Thursday, May 24, 2007

The last day of school

Today's the last day of school.

As if we didn't have enough trouble settling down the troops for bed every night, on the eve of the last day of school, don't you know the American Idol finale made it practically impossible (you know it's bad when your five-year-old says, "Hey, what's Lakeisha doing on there?"). Is there no rest for the weary? Congrats, Jordin.

Somehow everyone eventually got to bed, and even woke up in time to stumble out the door - ending a whirlwind couple of weeks of field days, field trips, class parties, concerts, yearbook signings and (for the middle schoolers) final exams.

Yes, they're happy school is over, but interestingly enough, all three of them LOVE school.

Not that we haven't had our ups and downs.

This year our oldest (13) weathered several of the typical friend crises that tend to follow her outgoing, let's-keep-everyone-happy personality. I'm learning not to panic when I hear the rumblings of, "She's saying mean things about me." She handles it herself, with politician-like deftness. This year was her biggest year to juggle, playing on school sports teams, taking honors English, and singing her first choir solo.

Our son (12), figured out middle school teachers will not remind you if you don't turn in work. Oooh, it was hard for me not to bail him out, but I managed, and he finished the year, not as strong as he would have liked, but he's all the wiser for next year! He's got a good (if not a little loud) group of pre-pubescently crazy friends who like to come over and decimate my pantry stock. He put his focus on music this year, working on acoustic and electric (can you say SCREAMIN'?) guitar, and loving choir.

Our nine-year-old is a serious student and extremely self-motivated. I didn't help her with homework but maybe once all year (if only that were the case about picking up her socks?). She was in speech therapy this year, putting a final end to her adorably precious lisp - I know, I know, she's nine - it was time, but I'm still sad to see her grow up so much. She developed a best school friendship this year, and I enjoyed watching them create their own secret handshakes, silly names for each other, and talk on the phone (saying goodbye for 20 minutes: "No, you hang up first!"). Nine years old is the epitome of childhood to me - carefree, unencumbered by thoughts of boys, and incredibly creative. It's a moment in time I want to savor.

Our five-year-old got a bonus year at home with me. I'm so glad we did it. She is putting the reading pieces together - my favorite milestone of childhood, right up there with when a baby says "Mama" for the first time (did I mention how much I love Explode the Code?) . She is begging to go to kindergarten, and thinks fall is simply too far away. But I know better - it will come all too soon.

Our three-year-old went from a toddler to a preschooler this year. Gone are the diapers, naps (unless we are in the car and it just "happens"), and sadly, the pudgy bod and chubby cheeks. WAH. On the bright side, she's developing a hilarious sense of humor, learning how to make plays on words, and can write the first letter of her name. I guess it's all good.

And what did I accomplish this school year? Let's see. I did a lot of laundry. Made a lot of sandwiches. Drove to lots of practices, orthodontist appointments, and teacher conferences. Prayed like crazy. Kept the debris from overtaking us, and generally kept things moving around here.


Doesn't sound like much, but it's a good life. I'll take it.


Anonymous said...

I love having my little kids (my oldest is fixing to turn five), but your posts make me look forward to having older kids, too. Thanks for not being the doom and gloom type, that makes it sound like childhood after ten years old is something to be dreaded.


Susanne said...

Now come the lazy, hazy days of summer. (Sing it with me!)

We go to the end of June. Mind you for my high schooler two weeks of those is like a holiday because she only has to write two finals, which is two days of those. And then she'll be going away for 3 weeks. I'm trying not to panic already at that thought. I'm making arrangements like an automaton, trying not to think. But it's a good thing.

kittyhox said...

I loved reading about your family. Especially your description of your nine year old. What a precious age.

Also, I'm sorry about your three year old no longer having the "pudgy bod." We mourned a bit when our baby stopped sleeping on us in the fashion of a frog - we called it his frog bod (or as my husband said, "bod, by frog").

We still get a kick of how he sleeps with his booney up in the air.

I just love all his phases and I liked your post because it gave me a little insight into future phases. Ditto what Rachel said. It's hard not to be sad as they get older and try to hold onto the past. It's nice to think about each age being as delightful as the last.

Kids are just the neatest things.

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

What is it about those last two weeks of school? I've been pulling my hair out trying to keep everything straight, and then my oldest missed the last three days of school with a fever.

Thank goodness for summer vaca!

Thanks for sharing your kids with us ~ they sound great!

Barbie @ Mamaology said...

Congrats to another year finished. I only have one in school, so far. So I can only imagine the juggle of it all. Sounds so worth it though. :)

Beck said...

Yep, schools here go until the end of June, too and I am going NUTS right now - the kids are crabby and feudy and tired out. It sounds like it was a very important year for all of your kids.