Sunday, August 23, 2009
This spring Mitchell was in a play at school called, "Laffin' School Reunion". He played the part of a mischievous boy named Clydesdale . . . and yes, he had to wear a DUNCE cap for part of the performance. The setting of the play was a one-room school house, and Mitchell's role came quite naturally to him. He did a wonderful job. I was so proud of him.
My Clydesdale is now about to embark on Grade 5. Next week he begins a year of what I fear is going to be the most challenging year of his life thus far. I remember grade 5. It was tough. Expectations of the teacher were much higher than that of grade 4. The "fun" in school was somehow replaced with a feeling of "seriousness" . . . the teachers being intent on preparing their students for the reality of junior high, just two short years away. For me, grade 5 proved to be the year that I failed an examination for the first (and last) time in my life. I was horrified with that failing mark in my social studies class. I think I cried for days about it.
Grade 5 also brought on the beginnings of awareness of boys and what they thought of me. I vividly remember my crush on this boy (a VERY tall boy) in grade 6, named Darvin. Since we had combined classrooms, we spent the year "together" in a grade 5/6 split, and oh, how I liked him. I'm not sure what his feelings were about me, but I'm sure he was pretty clueless about the whole thing. However, he did get me a Christmas gift that year (even though it was prompted by the fact that we had a "Christmas Box" gift exchange in our classroom, where everyone picked a name at random for whom they had to buy a gift . . . it just so happened that he picked my name). I remember the gift so well. My gift was two-fold. The first part was a miniature Garfield character figurine. The second part was orange-flavored lip gloss. I can still taste that lip gloss as if it were on my lips right now. It tasted so good. The girls in my class bugged me about that gift for months to come . . . they said that he gave me the lip gloss so that my lips would be ready for when we had our first kiss. Oh brother. I'm sure that's not what his mom was thinking when she purchased the lip-gloss on his behalf. He probably didn't even know what the gift was when he gave it to me. And the Garfield figurine . . . well, unfortunately it met its demise several weeks after I received it. My dog, Bubba, chewed the ears off it. I still kept the chewed-up cat as a memory of Darvin, but I was always mad at Bubba for attacking it so mercilessly. (Just to clarify--I don't still have the Garfield figurine. I probably ditched it the following year when Darvin moved away).
Boy, this post is getting off track really fast.
Back to My Clydesdale. I don't know if its because he's my first-born, or if its because of all the bullying and teasing and lack of acceptance he's endured since we moved here 2 1/2 years ago, but my heart is almost breaking for Mitchell right now. I'm scared for him about grade 5. Of course, he knows nothing about this. I'm really working hard at pumping up the fact that he's entering grade 5, and encouraging him to get excited about this new venture. But I can tell he's having internal anxiety over the start of school. He's only seen one of his so-called friends all summer. I was finally able to arrange a sleepover with the one and only boy in his world who even gives Mitchell the time of day, and the sleepover went well. I really like Mitchell's friend and I hope that he and Mitchell will be able to build on their friendship in the coming year. There is also a new boy starting grade 5 this year, and in a way this could be the answer to my prayer that I've been praying since we moved here--that Mitchell would be able to claim a "best friend" in this town. His brother has a bountiful supply of "best friends" and it's so hard for me to see Mitchell witness that, when I know he desires so much to have a best friend . . . other than his dad and/or I.
My goal as a parent this year is to spend time in more specific prayers in relation to my boys. I don't know about you, but I often find myself as a mom, praying for them in a general fashion. I know my prayers need to be more deliberate and specific and that is what I'm going to try to work on this school year. I know that God can work miracles. I would love to see a miracle in my son's life this year.