the question now becomes …

Am I smarter than a fifth grader?

Ugh. Boo. Wouaaa wouaaa wu wu wouaaaaaaaaaa. (that’s a long, drawn-out baby cry, obvs).

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This is the part where I acknowledge that we all must embrace change and accept that our children will, inevitably, grow up. But I just.don’t.wanna.

The other but is that I also don’t get a choice. Connor is a fifth grader! And I guess I’m going to have to accept that next year at this time we’ll be celebrating a graduate. UNLESS! Unless it really is true that I’m not as smart (likely) and my lack of smarts can actually support keeping CJ in elementary forever. Kidding, of course. Sort of.

Today is one of those days that a mom and dad truly cherish. I was fortunate to attend the end-of-the-year assembly at Hopkins Elementary and my heart smiled the entire time recognizing that I am a part of a truly special school system blessed with wonderful educators and support staff. Connor received his award for All A’s which we’d sort of anticipated (he only noted one straggling B+ he was working on when we last chatted) and I recalled that he told me just the other day that his goal is to be the Class of 2024’s Valedictorian. #lifegoals

At the end of the assembly, each class honored two special students with a Citizenship Award. And this year? It was Connor’s year. It’s one of those things that you can’t help but hope for along with your child and I found my face started to hurt a little as I smiled. So gosh darn proud of this young man … not because of the student that he is (he said he missed when it was called Student of the Year), but because of the citizen he’s becoming.

IMG_4236_webConnor is super smart. There’s no doubt about it. And I’m not worried about next year for him because 1) he puts so much pressure on himself to succeed (wonder where he gets that?!) and 2) he’s got some amazing teachers to look forward to. But he is such a good friend. I had the pleasure of reading some of the comments his classmates shared related to his Citizenship Award … sentiments like, ‘he is a good football player’ and ‘connor is confident in himself. he is silly and smart.’ but also notes like, ‘he is nice and helpful and caring. if someone got hurt, he would be right there.’ and ‘connor cannot say no if you want to play with him. if you have no one to play with, he will play.’ Come.On.

And I get to be his mama. What?! As much as I beat myself up for being inadequate as a mom (and this isn’t me asking for you to stroke my ego. #keepingitreal), I’m so ridiculously thankful that the Lord blessed me with this child who is nothing short of amazing. He is all of those things his friends (and teacher) shared and more.

Connor had an excellent fourth grade year; displaying his talents for the first time on the football field, and again on the soccer field (even participating on a tournament-winning team in the fall!) in the pool with his Tiger Shark friends but also with his fun architectural drawings in art class and with his skills on the recorder (anyone else think Satan is responsible for those?).

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More than all of those things, though, the kid loves the Lord. And as a result, out of what I can only view as an act of obedience, he loved on people … even people that might be hard to love on. And he is so easy to love back. He is funny as heck, has a smile that doesn’t quit and is quick to invite someone into conversation that he’s just met. He still sleeps with stuffed animals (sorry, dude) and he randomly says he loves me and asks for snuggle time when no one is looking. I guess I could have just said, ‘i’m a proud mom.’ But, it’s just so much more. I’m so lucky and I can’t wait for another year of adventure with my favorite ten-year-old … who I’m certain is going to teach me a thing or two in the process.

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