I don’t know if your news feed has been blowing up with posts about accomplishments like mine has lately, but holy.cow. Continue reading
Let me start by saying … I am not a fan of “selfies”. For those who are not all up to speed on the kids’ lingo, Urban Dictionary defines a selfy (why yes, there is a plural and singular version of this made-up word) as follows: A strange phenomenon in which the photographer is also the subject of the photograph, in a subversive twist on the traditional understanding of the photograph. Usually conducted because the subject cannot locate a suitable photographer to take the photo, like a friend.
Basically, I didn’t have anyone to take a photo. Like a friend. At the moment. Well, I have friends. I think. Continue reading
I used those exact words last week to describe the way my little hometown rallied around the Smit family. Amy actually wrote a post tonight describing the flood of support she received from the community because today, we find ourselves under water. Literally.
And again, our little hometown came together in support of those who needed it. I had no idea how aggressively the water was rising. I mean, I was acutely aware that I left a balmy Florida morning to return to a 46 degree driving rainstorm that lasted from early afternoon and through the night, but I didn’t realize we were that close to flood conditions. Then, this morning, the school closed after an initial two-hour delay and I was like, ‘whoa, it must be bad. i’m sure no one wants to add more days to the end of this already extended school year!’ Continue reading
Connor had an amazing seventh birthday. He was treated with cupcakes the day prior, with tons of sweet treats and love notes the day of (the significant benefit to having a Valentine’s Day birthday) and a party of some sort for the succeeding three days. Continue reading
You.are.seven. (well, almost) Yet, last night I was thrilled (albeit slightly panicked that you fell asleep on your own at eight o’clock) that I was able to carry you to your bed. I laid your head gently on your pillow and pulled your covers up near your soft cheeks and immediately went back in time. I’ve always loved putting you to bed. Those few minutes are the most special each day, to me. We pray together (most of the time you will but sometimes you ask me to pinch hit) and thank God for moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas (yes, we are thankful for the rest of our family too … we’re just hitting the highlights). Then, we kiss and I tell you I love you. And, within minutes, you’ll be sound asleep.
Well, now you weigh just over sixty pounds (last week you were ecstatic to hit sixty-one after many, many months at sixty). It isn’t as easy for me to carry you from the couch into your bed, but that almost never happens unless you’re opting to be lazy. That sometimes happens. And we measured your height tonight and although not terribly scientific, you stood at just over fifty inches tall. You are my fairly tall, skinny (yet still compact and strong) boy. Do you remember being one? These new stats are a far cry from that first year.
You’ve accomplished so much in the past year. You completed your first full year of all-day school when you graduated from kindergarten. You received high praise from your teacher and you’ve continued to do so as you’ve transitioned into first grade. You love Mrs. Modreske and think she’s the “nicest teacher ever”. Last month, you were awarded Student of the Month and it was awesome for mommy to hear about your eagerness to learn and to race your friends to answer challenge questions. When we finished kindergarten, you weren’t all that interested in reading, but you loved math. Now, you’re doing really well with reading, writing and the numbers still come easily (you can even do some complex problems that leave mouths hanging open). Yet, last time we talked you wanted to be an artist. So, there’s that. You’re a very, very bright boy and I’m so very proud of the fact that you not only have classroom know-how but also street smarts. Your dad would swear you don’t get that from me.
There was lots and lots of fun this past year as well. You had some amazing field trips at school; visiting the zoo, the apple orchard, a stage performance and the museum. You have your school buddies, too. You’re especially tight with Nolan. In my opinion, you’re full on BFFs. You’ve had a few playdates with him (and one with your buddy, Micah) and you had your very first sleepover with Nolan last weekend. There were also family trips to Florida, Great Wolf Lodge, the beach, the Air Zoo, a couple local museums, ArtPrize and to visit our other extended ‘family’ in Detroit when we went to LegoFest.
Speaking of Legos, your obsession began with the Ninjago series. As a matter of fact, your sixth birthday cake was Ninjago-themed. When you started first grade, though, your focus flipped to Star Wars. You haven’t looked back since. You have several sets now and I’ll tell you a little story when you’re older about how some of those came about. Hint: Santa had me working very hard this year.
In addition to the Lego series, you are also a huge fan of the entire Star Wars series. You have action figures, movies, puzzles, books, clothes, etc. And, to be completely honest, it’s been really hard for me to keep up with your extensive knowledge. It amazes me what you’ve learned in the last few months and I love your extended stories about the various pieces of the complete saga.
You like competition, too. Well, I should say you still like competition but now, it seems like winning and losing is more of a concrete concept. You’re becoming a wicked-awesome soccer player and you also continue to grow as a t-ball/baseball player. You just started indoor basketball in January as well. I’m curious to see what you’ll decide you love doing as you grow. Without a doubt, though, you put your heart and soul into your game. You take it very seriously and you do not like.to.lose. This also applies to Uno and Guess Who and Death Star Jenga. Admittedly, I let you win sometimes, but I let you lose, too. It’s a good lesson for life.
Ah, life lessons. I don’t want to get too teary as I write so I’ll keep it brief here but this year was hard. On all of us. For the first time, I wasn’t able to tuck you in every night and there isn’t a way to adequately describe how difficult that is for your mom but I take solace in the fact that you are being tucked in whether you’re home with me or home with your dad. You’ve had to grow up a lot this year, but again, I am so proud of the person (young man?!) you’re becoming. For instance, when you were diagnosed with Celiac Disease back in October, you were upset (briefly) and then you just … learned to deal. I can’t tell you how much that helped me because I was devastated for you. No more Reese’s Puffs? Tragic. But you’ve learned to love Cinnamon Chex. Sometimes, sacrifice is exactly what’s necessary to become healthy.
As much as a parent is supposed to teach their child, I feel like it’s you that’s teaching me. And I feel so lucky. This picture (from ArtPrize) feels like such an accurate reflection of who you are. Right now. You are silly and fun and spontaneous and adorable and your smile lights up a room. Please, please hold on to those traits. Just remember to always use them for good.
I thank God for you, my dear, sweet Valentine. You give me reason to celebrate.
I’ll love you forever,
It feels like we’ve been waiting for a good winter snowfall for significantly longer than we’re accustomed to here in Michigan. We even had a pretend snow day just a couple weeks back … you know, the day the world was going to end? Continue reading
I’ve always had an insane amount of respect for teachers. When I was in school, I was scared to death of them. Surely, a teacher could make or break the rest of my life with a failing grade
B! I’m kidding. Sort of. Continue reading
It came time to go around the table and say what we were most thankful for … and I blanked. I couldn’t talk and I passed. I’ll make one small excuse and note that my grandma went off on a bit of a tangent about working nights (her family will be happy to know that her first comment was that she was thankful her children were all alive). Continue reading