Moving On

Today was Goalielocks’ moving on ceremony marking the end of a fantastic three years at Logger’s Run Middle School.  Since day one he has flourished in Middle School enjoying the academic offerings and his many friends.  It was apparent tonight how much he enjoyed his school and how well he got along with his classmates.  Of course, for me, it was bittersweet as it marks the end of one stage and the beginning of another stage.  It seems like just yesterday he was graduated from preschool and now he’s off to high school.

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The ceremony itself was at his future high school in West Boca.  We found out yesterday that he has been offered a spot in the medical academy at West Boca with all of his friends.  He was absolutely ecstatic to learn that he’ll be continuing his school journey with the vast majority of his school friends.  We waited until tonight at dinner to give him the good news.

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We waited patiently in the hot, sauna of a gym for ceremony to start.  They started “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates filed into the gym.  Maybe it was the contacts or both our bad vision, but we didn’t see Goalielocks walk into the gym at all.  Once they had sat down, we didn’t seem him either.  Naturally, we started to panic a bit.  After a few minutes of concern, my hubby decided to go down and see if we could find him.

He headed down towards the entrance and start chatting with the principal and the police officers working the event, who assured him he was there.  The hubby headed up the other bleachers to try and find him to no avail.  Finally, the principal let him walk down the side and he found him.   Now we could relax and enjoy the show.

As I watched the video with Goalielocks tonight, he quickly pointed out that we actually got him on video.  How we missed him in the first place is beyond me.  Like I said it could be the contacts or the blonde hair.  Nonetheless, it was a fabulous night to celebrate the accomplishments of middle school while looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of high school.  

 

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Another Milestone Moment

It seems like it was only moments ago that Zachary crossed the stage in East Boynton to graduate from VPK on a warm Saturday in May between hockey games.  Colin was in first grade and Jacob had just finished sixth grade.  Kindergarten was an approaching reality for Zachary, but where we are now (out of elementary completely and one heading to college) seemed to be in the distant future.  Only it wasn’t so distant.

Cruel and misleading, time is a mistress that pulls no punches.  It passes so quickly that none of us even notice and with the blink of our eye, our babies are no longer babies, but young men and women.  Okay, okay, the Mayor is only going into middle school so young men and women may be a bit of a leap, but to be fair his older brother graduated high school and its all happening in what seems to have been a blink of the eye.   I’m pretty sure just last Christmas, the Mayor was in his Exersaucer and Jacob was opening his favorite Goosebumps book.

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After thirteen years, three schools, three houses, three boys, two states and countless businesses (run by the Mayor,) our elementary career as a family is over.  No more awkwardly timed donuts with dads or muffins with moms on a Thursday or Friday morning.  No more recess, parents running interference or safety patrol for this family.  As the Mayor moves on to middle school, he gains independence and accountability for his studies.

It is hard to say bye to Sunset Palms since we’ve been there since it has opened and it has been great to our family.  We’ve had so many amazing teachers throughout the years at the school and Mr. Fleming is both Zachary and Colin’s favorite.  We were so lucky to be zoned for such an incredible school.

Saying goodbye to preschool was just as hard with Zachary graduated in 2011.   Each of his graduations or moving on ceremonies, signals a change of life stages for our family.   While the transitions in stage are a bit difficult and emotional, there is much beauty to be found in our life’s new stage.  I look forward to showing what life’s next stage has in store for our family and for the Mayor.

Everything Changes

As your whole world shifts, it is easy to get lost in the newness being both frightened and excited by the transition from childhood to adult.  While everything may be changing and you may feel slightly adrift fear not, the moorings that have always anchored you, the pillars that provided safety and guidance, will never leave you.

Regardless of your age or station, these pillars in your life will always be there to provide you strength, guidance, friendship and love.  While they will not always be with you physically, their influence will be unending.  While growth will sometimes be painful and you’ll yearn for your childhood, look forward and look upward.  Understand that with every discomfort or every failure comes an opportunity to learn, to grow and succeed.  Don’t be afraid to fail!  Be more afraid of not trying.

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Throughout your life, you’ll find yourself feeling adrift for different reasons and different transitions.  At each of these points, you will always think back on the guidance and love that was given by family and friends that became family.  In many cases, you’ll reach back out to these pillars for advice and that’s okay.

 

The Last Mooring

Tomorrow we will untether the last of your moorings as you graduates high school.   I’m still in a state of belief that this day has come, after all, it seems like just yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital.  The point was driven home tonight as I drove to the rink with his younger brothers to watch you play a beer league hockey game.  You are now everybody’s favorite player because of your youth and because you can drive dad home post-game.

The process of letting you go and become independent doesn’t start tomorrow at high school graduation; it started way before you even set foot in high school.  I remember being struck by this fact when you started preschool.  When we dropped you off for your first day, it was tempting to walk in with you and get you situated, but on your grandma’s advice we didn’t.  You walked in to class confidently and got yourself squared away.  I won’t lie, there was a little pain mixed in with the joy of seeing you gain independence.  We parents like to feel needed.  This was the first time we as parents had unmoored one of his moorings.

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With each passing year, each new stage, trust was gained and with it more independence. More moorings were released.  While graduation tomorrow represents the culmination of this journey, even though the moorings are no longer tied to our dock, we will always be here to guide, advise, listen to music with, play hockey with and love you.

The Last Day of School

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It all started on a cool Tuesday morning in September in Blaine, MN in 2004 when we sent Jacob off to his first day of kindergarten.  His first year of school was fabulous and he made a lot of friends.  At our first parent/teacher conference, his teacher recounted to us how he was sat next to the twins from China.  The thought was that since he was such a chatterbox, he’d help them pick up the English language quickly.  I’m pretty sure their new words revolved around things like hockey, Halo, Buzz Lightyear and Star Wars, but hey at least it was a start.

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I remember being as equally emotionally wrecked sending him on that bus that day to kindergarten as I was on Friday.   Except this time instead of getting on a big yellow bus, he was (gulp) driving himself to school.  Almost 13 years later, his journey through school ended in Boca Raton a far cry from where it started (Blaine, MN.)

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Meanwhile, his little brothers have two more weeks of school…. Two weeks of radio silence at home during the day, now that’s quite the graduation present.  Throughout the years, Jake’s always been persistent, goal driven and kind.  While I’m broken up that this stage of his life is over, I cannot wait to see what he achieves next.

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The First of Many Lasts….

I fondly remember tracking the milestones when my kids were little.  The first time they slept through the night, their first bottle, their first words, the first time they crawled and the first time they walked.  I particularly remember being so anxious for all of Jacob’s first and not being able to wait until he could walk.  Of course by the time Goalielocks and the Mayor were born, I knew we’d be better off the longer they were immobile.

With every new milestone hit, we’d always be looking forward to the next one like wondering after the first bottle when he would enjoy his first taste of carrots or squash.  I never understood how quickly these milestones would pass us by and wish I had enjoyed them as they came and not been in such a hurry to hit the next milestone. As Jacob grew, I began to understand that our children are much like a gift that keeps on giving as we unwrap a new layer with each stage of their childhood.  Like an onion with many layers, each year a bit of the onion is peeled back revealing its gift.  As an aside, I’m not sure I would characterize the puberty stage as a gift, but that’s a whole different post.

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I remember once they started daycare, my hubby and I were anxious to get them into school and out of daycare.  Not realizing that the costs from daycare would be reallocated to things like travel hockey, tennis or tutoring.   It is easy to look forward from elementary to middle school, who wants to pay for aftercare in perpetuity – not me.  Of course you have to accept all the nonsense that comes with middle school and puberty, but at least the aftercare bill will be done and it seemed like a reasonable trade off.  I’m currently rethinking that logic.

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Tonight started what will be the first of many lasts.  His last high school choir concert.  He was never a singer and not really into music and then he mistakenly got choir as an elective his freshmen year at OHS.  What started off as a clerical error ended up being a transformative moment in his life.  A love of all things music quickly followed leading him to the discovery of new music, like Nirvana, Green Day, the Beatles, Jonny Cash, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin and the Travelling Wilburys.   This new and incredible passion for all things music was born and accordingly he acquired guitars, a keyboard, a ukulele, and a harmonica.

I relished the boys’ firsts undoubtedly, but I don’t think I understood that they would eventually come to an end.  I mean I knew they’d grow up, but whiskey tango foxtrot, it wasn’t supposed to come this soon.  I wasn’t supposed to blink and have a high school senior.   I’m struggling to grasp that we’ve progressed from a world of firsts to a world of lasts this month.  The last choir concert, the last report card, the last day of school, the last choir banquet, the last awards ceremony and the last day of elementary for the Lorbach boys.  WTF – seriously – WTF I’m not ready for this at all…  Meanwhile, my boys are totally ready and I couldn’t be prouder.

This song’s for you Jake In My Life