Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dear Bean . . .

Today was your first day of fifth grade. Unlike Butter and Bug, you are not "starting" something this year, but instead are "finishing." This is your last year of elementary school. Wow--again, where does the time go?

While we originally were going to have you going to the same school as Bug, we decided to let you finish your last year of elementary school at the same school you've been at for the last two years. With your friends. Imagine our surprise when Bug's school had you assigned to a fifth grade class. Imagine our bigger surprise when we almost had to take them up on it. Turns out your teacher for the last half of fourth grade, with whom we had extreme issues, was given a fourth/fifth combo class to teach. Luckily, he is NOT your teacher. If he had been, you would not have been going there. Sorry, no dice, not dealing with that again.

Instead, you have Ms. Crane. An experienced teacher who, according to dad, is very nice. You are also back with your "besties." All three of you in the same class--just like third grade. I'm sure you are going to have a great year! You also get to be in advanced band--which means early school three days a week--but we will make it work. You, like Butter, have a natural talent for music and you picked up the flute so well. Your band teacher sees definite potential in you--and I'm sure it will help next year when you move to middle school.

I'm hoping this is a year of change and growing for you. You still seem on the cusp sometimes of being a big girl and still being our little one. You have a definite "attitude" that we need to work on, but it is coming out less and less frequently. When you and I are alone, we have a great time. I like just hanging out with you. You are the one who will hang out with me doing pretty much anything, including when I donate blood. I'm not sure Butter or Bug would do that.

Remember this year to have fun, but to still concentrate. It is your last year of elementary school, and you should have fun. But remember that it is also important to learn and grow.

I love you and am very proud of you and the young lady you are becoming.

Love, Mom

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dear Bug (fka Baby Bean*) . . .

You start kindergarten tomorrow—where has the time gone?  Where is my little baby?

Yesterday we went out and got haircuts (with Bean) and bought some school clothes.  You had such a good time tonight showing your fashions to your Princess dolls.  Then you and Bean picked out what you will be wearing each day this week for school.  It was all so cute.

You did great at your kindergarten assessment last week.  By coincidence, the teacher who did you assessment is going to be your teacher for the next year.  You seemed to get along with her and I’m hoping that everything will go well for you.  We did find out last week that this is going to be a bit different than we thought. We’ve been telling you all summer that you will be having lunch at home with daddy. Well, we were wrong.  Your school does all day kindergarten.  That means we drop you off for school at 7:30 for 7:45 start time and then you do not come home until 1:45.  It is going to be a long day for you, but I think you will do great.

I might be more worried for daddy.  A couple of weeks ago you and I were talking about school.  Your first comment, “daddy is going to miss me so much.”  I think you are right.  You have been his buddy for the last five years.  You have been by his side every day, all day—except for the three months when you were in preschool.  It is going to be different for him.  I’m not sure what he is going to do for the first week or so.  But it will be good for both of you.

Sunday night was another big milestone for you.  You lost your first tooth!  You told me a couple of weeks ago that you thought it was loose and I wasn’t quite sure.  Bean has been talking about loose teeth and she actually lost one of her last week.  I didn’t believe that you were old enough to lose a tooth already.  But there you were, you and Bean were in our room watching tv and having a tickle fest.  I guess, from what I can piece together, Bean accidentally hit you in the mouth and the next thing we knew you were both running into the front room—laughing about losing your tooth. Unfortunately, the laughter only lasted a few minutes before you freaked out a bit.  For the rest of the night you wouldn’t close your mouth—you said it was freaking you out.  But you were also so excited about the tooth fairy.  Getting you to bed early wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.

My wish for you in the next year is to just have fun.  Enjoy kindergarten.  Make friends. Learn and be a kid!

I love you!

Love, Mom

* Although I’ve been calling her baby bean, she is now our bug.  She wanted her own “name” and Bean wanted her name to herself again!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dear Butter . . .

Tomorrow you start high school Where has the time gone? You have grown up so fast and I am so in awe of you and everything that you have accomplished and everything that I know you can and will do.

I can remember being pregnant with you and wondering who you were and who you would become. I had a feeling that you were our boy, but we didn't know for sure until you were born. I was so thrilled that I had a son! You then decided to show your stubborn streak when you decided to hold your breath. But I think that just showed us early your determination to do whatever you wanted to do.

You are definitely a boy who knows what he wants. You set your mind to what you want and strive for it. You proved that to yourself and us when you were able to graduate from middle school with straight As. You put your mind to it, and whenever you thought that you were going to falter, you made a point of working harder and seeing your goal. You amaze me almost daily with what you can do and what you want out of life.

On the eve of high school, I want you to go forward and really enjoy your high school days. I want you to go to football games, go to dances, attend the various performances that go on at your school. I want you to get involved and really make the most out of the next four years. Your freshman year is going to be a challenge. Your classes are tough, I can see that, and I am impressed beyond belief over the classes you are taking and the fact that your teachers believe that you can accomplish this. You are taking an extra class by being in jazz band, but I know you can do this.

I want you to make friends that will last a lifetime. I want you to enjoy the time you spend in high school and be able to look back on these days and say that you really learned, grew and had a great time.

I am so very proud of you. You are more than I ever thought I would have.

I love you!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Internet Makes the World Seem So Much Smaller . . .

The internet has brought me together with so many people that I would never have met in real life, and the majority I never will meet in real life, but I still consider them friends. That's why, when someone I've never met, who lives 3000 miles away, loses her husband, my heart aches for her.

This is a woman who I had the chance to meet via the internet back in 2002. We were both women who kept a journal on a website for moms. Our stories were very different--I was already the mom to two kids, she was struggling with infertility. It hurt to read her struggles, but then it was wonderful to be able to rejoice with her when she finally did get pregnant. It was even more amazing for her when she was able to have another son. They seemed to have the perfect family--her husband was a stay-at-home dad and volunteer firefighter. She was a teacher at a prestigious college in Vermont. She has a lot of the same beliefs as I do, and I seem to relate to her a lot. When we both stopped keeping a journal on the website, she started a blog and I followed it religiously. It was great to read about her and her family and what they were doing.

When I learned on FB on Saturday that her husband had been killed, it really struck me hard. A senseless car accident took away a father and husband and forever tore apart a family. It hit me really hard because hubby and I had just had a fairly large fight, but now it seems petty. I was mad and hurt and left the house. Then I saw this and just felt like if it could happen to them, it could happen to anyone. It made me realize that what we had disagreed about had been petty. Just a lot of pent up frustration that came out all at once. But it made me realize that we can't let petty things get to us. We need to say, "I love you," and kiss each other goodbye.

I read her blog today, and it broke my heart. Her oldest son has a broken leg, she and her younger son are banged and bruised, but to hear that the four-year old is having nightmares, just is wrong. No child should have to be there when their father dies in a situation like that. No child should have their father die like that.

If we lived close, I would be over there, cleaning her house, cooking meals, anything to help lessen her burden right now. She deserves to just "be" with her boys right now.

I know I'm rambling, but this just really makes me sad. And, it makes me realize that even if you have never met someone in real life, they are real and they do matter and their pain can make you ache for them.