Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Reflections on my 8th grader, Vol 2

Two years ago, I blogged some reflections about my daughter, who was graduating from 8th grade.  I thought perhaps I would make it a tradition (oh, the pressure is on now!  sorry, future self!), and jot down some reflections about my first-born son, who just graduated from 8th grade on Saturday.

  • It's hard to reconcile my tall, handsome man-child with the tiny baby I so vividly recall from 14.5 years ago.  M was born on Sept, 21, 2001, just 10 days after 9/11.  I remember praying fervently on Sept. 11 that God would give my child a birthday other than 9/11, and He did.  Our son brought joy to our lives that year, in a time that was full of sadness and fear.  
  • When he was little, M had more energy than he (or we!) knew what to do with.  He often ran away from me in parking lots, stores, church. . .you name it.  He was a ball of fire, in every way the stereotypical boy.  He was obsessed with Thomas the tank engine and knew countless engine names by heart, often regaling guests with his knowledge of Sodor Station.  
  • As he grew, he began to love video games, and still enjoys them often.  He does not, however, like violent games.  When I thanked him for not ever asking us about playing that kind of game with a Mature rating, he told me he doesn't like how those games have affected some of the people he knows. 
  • I am enjoying immensely watching M grow in maturity.  He is a huge role model to his younger brothers, and one brother in particular thinks he is amazing.  He is black and white to a fault, wanting to do the right thing at all costs.  He is shouldering more and more responsibility and is very helpful to us around the house. 
  • He's funny and goofy!  He has crazy names for all of his siblings and us at times too.  He makes me laugh all the time.  (Example:  when he was little he used to call me Little Mommy.  I LOVED it then, and I asked him recently to call me Little Mommy "just one more time".  Instead of complying, he grinned and called me Big Mamma.  Ummm - that does not exactly bring on the warm fuzzies!  But it did make me laugh.)
  • He was co-salutatorian for his 8th grade class and was one of several who gave a speech at the ceremony.  I was so incredibly proud of him.  He was well-spoken and spoke all about doing what is right.  He encouraged his classmates not to think they couldn't make a difference because they were young, but to go out and change the world by helping those around them.  
  • He wants to be a politician/lawyer when he grows up.  I can't say that would exactly be my first choice (I might have voted pastor), but if that is indeed what he does, I think he will use his skills to succeed in either career.
Today was the closing chapel for the school year.  All my children went over to their teachers at the end of chapel to receive a blessing.  The teacher made a cross on the forehead of each of my children and prayed a blessing over them.  It is a wonderful sight to watch your children be blessed by the teacher who has cared for them all year.  My son's teacher is a gentle, kind gal who shapes her students and prepares them well for high school.  I watched as she reached up quite a bit to bless my son.  And as she did, I got a little teary (full disclosure: I was already weepy).  My son is leaving this Lutheran school armed with academic knowledge, strong friendships, firm morals and a personal relationship with his Savior.  I can't think of anything else I want for my children.  It's hard for me to watch this season come to close (he has been here since he was 2!), but I do know there are many amazing things to come for this boy.  And he is ready!

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