my greatest teacher

You guys. We have a year of high school under our belts. In what will surely go down in history as the most chaotic, confusing, and challenging of all school years, we did it. And I say ‘we’ because I’m the mom and I will take some of the credit.

And since it’s been too long, freshman year also brought with it …

  • Foosball and basketball seasons that were too short and weird but still fun
  • Wintering in Florida with the ‘old people’
  • A 15th birthday
  • The decision to switch spring sports #byebaseballmomfriends
  • <Finnnnnally getting a spot to take driver's training
  • A girlfriend …

I’m pausing because I’m still trying to breathe through that last bullet …

  • Records in aforementioned spring sport (hello golf polos and khaki shorts)
  • A learner’s permit

Pausing for a second time because all of a sudden I realize that while I actually trust my man child much more behind the wheel than I would have imagined I I’m an aggressive driver. I don’t mean to upset anyone on the road but I imagine that I likely do. I drive fast and if you’re ahead of me driving … not as fast, I’ll find a way to pass you. Because I like to go fast. I also will not flash my brights or fingers at you but I may follow too closely behind (some believe, not me). I will say, too, that if you flash your finger at me, I’ll wave and smile. Or thumbs up. Or say, ‘simmer down. Jesus loves you.’ It’s just how I roll. But CJ driving? Do not cross me or may the God of all mercy be ever present in that moment. Can anyone relate? It’s a mass of hysteria on the roads these days! Hide your kids. Hide your wives. Just hide. And of course, be on the lookout for people who used to be in our bellies because it’s a game-changer.

  • Oh, and all of it with a 4.0

Now, I realize that all bulleted lists should have a minimum of two to be appropriate but those interruptions were important. For context. For breathing. A girlfriend, people! I must also add that my dear sweet son did absolutely everything in the sweetest way possible and while incredibly uncomfortable (and WEIRD), we’ve had some really great conversations on the subject.

But if I’ve learned anything in the year of coco roro, it’s that Connor James its literally the most resilient (and amazing) human being that I’ve ever had the privilege of being a part of creating. I mean, yeah, I only got one shot but I think I nailed it.

I have been reluctant to brag share just how incredible he has been throughout all of this because I know that I’m likely in the minority of parents with school-aged children. I cannot be sincere enough in saying that I wish I could hug all of you … those who have been challenged by home schooling when you weren’t made to home school; those who were parenting very small children with very short attention spans while also working from home and doing Zoom calls #dearJesuspleasecomenow; those who had kids struggling with their classes and the material was beyond you as well (hello, I never figured out how elementary math even works this century). The list, and my love, goes on.

But I’ve also realized that it’s okay to celebrate what’s good. And I don’t want to minimize Connor’s accomplishments because, well, he’s taught me the most in all of it. When everything felt so out of control, CJ just showed up with his roll-with-it self and thrived. I’ve told several people how he’s honestly just been living his best life (except for all the games of Grand Theft Auto. I do not understand nor do I feel any sense of pride in admitting he celebrates heists on the regular). I’m truly just so, so proud of him. And I think sometimes the Lord gives us these blessings in one area of our life to remind us of the good because some of the other stuff sucks so much that we need those beaming rays of sunshine-inspired hope to cut through the darkness. And I can’t be clear enough in saying, CJ is one of the strongest sources of light around these parts. And although I’ve had some of THE best teachers in one of THE best school districts (even if we only graduated a class of seven. i’m kidding!), he stands out. And I’m soaking it in.

Oh, and I mentioned this golf thing. I have to say a giant ‘thank you’ and ‘good job’ to my parents for showing him the ropes last summer. It was at that point that he made the decision to quit baseball (i’m FINE.) and pursue golf this spring. I am still unsure how I feel about golf being a sport when CJ told me I was essentially not.welcome. at his matches (or whatever they’re called). I only ever got to hear about them in follow-up and it felt … weird. But still, I can vouch that he looked wicked cool in his pullover and khakis; sort of like a reflection of a 1950’s cover model. I’m not kidding about that one. And he made the books! Or what his coach refers to as the ‘All-Time Leaders’ spreadsheet.’ If that doesn’t sound official …

  • Best season average for 9- and 18-holes
  • Top ten for best 9-hole match golf scores (his lowest was a 45)
  • Most ‘bogeys-or-better’ (which is a total of all bogeys, pars, and birdies that a player has for the season)
  • Most pars in a season
  • Multiple rounds in the 40’s
  • Contributed to best team score ever for 9- and 18-hole rounds
  • Top 18 scores of all time with a 99 (this is my score for 11 holes. at mini golf.)

Connor, thanks for being who you are. Without apology. Thanks for telling me everything about sports I don’t understand or care about. Thanks for being my binge-watching partner for shows I could be judged for allowing you to watch. And thanks for being so much smarter than I could ever dream of being. And, just thanks for being my favorite teacher. I love you to friggin’ pieces and cannot wait to see what I will learn from you next.

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