School’s out for summer!

I woke up today and realized it’s the first day of June! Nearly half the year has already passed by! I remember when I was a kid and people would say how fast time goes and I thought “Really? Not for me!” But I find it more true with every passing year and it always causes me to reflect. 

Yesterday, my kids completed their last day of the 2016/2017 school year. As much as I look forward to summer…now I’m a little sad it’s already here because I know I’m the blink of an eye, it will be gone. But, alas, I fully welcome a reprieve from the schedule, the lunch packing, the homework, the hair fixing, the shoe finding…let’s just throw on some flip flops and a messy bun and eat cereal all day and call it summer. 

As the proud parents of now 10th, 4th, & 2nd graders…we’ve earned a break from the school grind, and so have they. With every school year that passes, they not only gain knowledge and grow, but as a parent, I do the same. I have learned so much about my kids through their years in school. I’ve learned and grown right along with them.

Brianna has always been a great student. She learns easily, does her work without being told, stays on task, gets good grades, has very little drama – especially for a now 15 y/o. There has been some great learning experiences for her this year on dealing with difficult people and how to handle conflict. She has stretched herself in her first year in high school, took a few more chances, and made many new friends. I celebrate her because she’s giving it her best and working hard and she’s an amazing young woman. 

AJ is much like Brianna. He sometimes needs slightly more coercing, especially when it comes to reading, but all in all, he’s a great student. He works hard, gets great grades, and excels in math. He has struggled a bit this year in the friend department. Some of it has to do with his competitive nature, some of it is because we raise our kids differently than some. We have more expectations and more limitations on what we allow them to be subjected to. At 9 y/o, some of the things his peers are allowed to watch, play, listen to, etc, is not acceptable for us, but trying to explain to him “why” is always a challenge. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” is a difficult thing to teach a kid who just wants to be like everyone else. It definitely causes a lot of frustration for both parent and child. The parenting struggle is real. Nevertheless, I celebrate him because he has a heart of gold, and anyone who gets close enough to him to see it, is a lucky person indeed! 

And then there is Abby. After spending 2 years in Kindergarten and now completing 1st grade, she’s a proud 2nd grader! She has, by far, struggled the most in school and, thus, taught me some of the most important lessons I have learned as a parent. She’s silly and fun and has had a challenge in reigning that in. She’s sweet and kind and doesn’t comprehend how or why someone would not want to be her friend. She’s quick to forgive and truly forget…there is no grudge holding with her. She’s smart and thoughtful, but can’t always grasp new concepts as quickly as others.Every little accomplishment that I took for granted in my older two, I have found as huge victories for Abby. She has taught me more patience and understanding in my last 3 years of parenting than I learned in the first 12 years combined! “All kids are different” has never been more real to me. Her “less than perfect” scores on her report card make me just as proud as a perfect and near perfect score ever could. Because I’ve watched her struggle. I’ve watched her frustration. I’ve cried over homework at the kitchen table with her more times than I care to admit. I’ve seen her master skills that I wondered if she ever would. I celebrate her because she never gives up. She’s relentless in many ways and I believe with all my heart that God placed that quality inside of her. 

The passing of another year brings relief, but yet I fear for what’s next. 2nd grade will surely bring new challenges. Will it be another year of struggles? Will she have the right teacher for her? I truly believe that although Brianna and AJ have had amazing teachers, they would thrive with just about anyone. For Abby, it’s a little more crucial. A teacher can make or break her. She had amazing teachers the last 2 years. Teachers who probably, at times, got frustrated with her, but refused to give up on her. Teachers who pushed her to do better, but loved and appreciated her individuality. They understood that she doesn’t learn like everyone else, or as quickly as everyone else, but they never counted her out. They took the time to find something special in her. And THAT, to me, as a mom, meant more to me than they may ever know. 

Much like my oldest, I’m a thinker. I think deep and often…probably too often. So, my challenge this summer is to stop thinking about what the next school year will bring and simply enjoy what is. I have 3 amazing kids…Perfect? No way. Amazing? Absolutely….and I’m beyond blessed to spend the next 3 months enjoying this extra time with them. 

If you’re a teacher…THANK YOU for everything that you do for our kids…you earned this time off and I say “time off” lightly. Because I’d be willing to bet that you have your own families and challenges to keep you busy this summer. If you’re my kid’s teacherTHANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! The Diaz family loves and appreciates you! ❤️

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