Tuesday, June 26, 2012

it's all in your heart...{kieran's last day of kindergarten}

I'm not certain I have the right words to express the emotional journey that it has been, maybe more for me as a parent, than my little boy as a kindergartner.
Shortly after the first few weeks, the honeymoon period as they say, Kieran was having difficulties maintaining focus in school and performing the tasks at hand.
His favorite activities were recess and lunch, and though he liked to learn, he'd much rather be playing (but then, what Kindergartner wouldn't?).
Each day my heart would race upon picking him up and I would dread the comments that would come from the day. Getting him to do homework each night came with its own battles...is this how it's going to be for the next 18 years?
Kieran and I would have our talks and unbeknownst to him, I'd quietly cry. Was I doing something wrong? How can I help him to be the boy in school that I know he can be? 
I prayed.
I called my pediatrician. I read a great book, even emailed the author/doctor and received a response. I enrolled him in a great counseling program at school and we started him on a daily behavior chart.
Slowly, but surely...progress.
There were some days better than others, but always, always, his teacher would say, "Kieran, I am still proud of you".
They'd hug each other and we'd move on from the day. As the year went on, homework no longer became a battle. We began our first year of swim team and the daily routine started to set in. Mind you, by this point it was now April, but everything was coming together. 
It wasn't what I was doing wrong, but the things I was doing right. 
It wasn't that Kieran didn't want to learn, but that the traditional setting of school, especially for boys and especially Kieran, is not necessarily constructed to fit the way that he was molded.
The reality of it all, is that he does attend the traditional setting, but the great part about his teacher was that she was willing to help him adapt and make changes for him so that he could grow.
Now the beginning of May, his teacher sends me an email mid-morning. My heart skips as any mother's does when she's contacted about her child, and I read, "I just had to email you to let you know that Kieran has earned 6 circles so far and it has all been before lunch--he's never done this and I'm so excited for him!"
"Amazing!", I think to myself. It's a good day.
I picked Kieran up from school and he came running toward me, paper in hand, with the largest smile I had seen all year.
A perfect ten.
Yes, it was the only perfect report he had received all year, but it came on a Monday, after a weekend trip to Yosemite. Perhaps Monday's aren't so bad after all, or perhaps my son is learning that he can do anything when he puts his mind to it. I like to think it's the latter.
Whatever the case may be, Kieran has grown from the very first day,
the very last day.
A special gift for his teacher (idea courtesy of my friend Melissa) to thank her for helping him to grow

definitely not in height, but surely in heart. 
She was absolutely wonderful.
The tears didn't fall on the first day, but oh, did they stream on the last.
Though the journey is just beginning for the both of us, and we have a long way to go, we are learning from each other. We are listening to one another (on most days). 
And, as Kieran has coined so prophetically, and often says to me at just right the moments,
"It's all in your heart, Mommy. It's all in your heart."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

four...in april

Dear Anna,
You turned four...in April! So sorry it's taken me this long to get to your birthday post. I really wasn't writing a lot just so you know. I was feeling very sick being pregnant with your baby brother from weeks 6 to 16. I'm 24 weeks now, so no real excuses, except that it's been "go, go, go" with all 3 of you with our schedule.
Your 4th birthday has come and gone, but I had the opportunity a few days ago to interview you like last year.
Here's what you had to say this year:
Me: What's your favorite color?
Anna: Pink.
Me: What's your favorite thing to do?
Anna: Play with my friends at school.
Me: What do you like about Kieran?
Anna: Hugging him.
Me: What do you like about Tatum?
Anna: Playing with her.
What's your favorite food?
Anna: Nuggets (unfortunately, I had hoped this would change from your answers at 3, but that was a no go).
Me: Who's your favorite princess?
Anna: Sleeping Beauty (thought you might say Cinderella since that was the theme for your birthday party, but Sleeping Beauty is still your favorite gal).
What do you like best about being 4?
Playing in my heart.

Need I say more after that last answer? Mommy thinks it's quite profound.

Happy 4th Birthday, my love!
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