Today is the last day of school.
This hasn't been the best school year for Kaden.
Or my pride.
You know all those end-of-the-year pictures proud parents are posting of their kids holding up certificates and medals. That is totally awesome. Unfortunately... none of that is going on over here for the oldest. No honor roll. No citizenship award for good conduct. But we're still celebrating, but we are celebrating that THIRD GRADE IS OVER. BY THE HAIR ON OUR CHINNY CHINNY CHIN, WE PASSED, SO SEE YA LATER SUCKAS.
We celebrated when D's became C's so finally, finally he'd be off restriction.
We celebrated that he passed the FCAT. Never mind the score. He passed. Don't look back. It. was. OVER.
There was a behavioral issue early in the year where home-schooling may possibly have been used as a threat. Later in the year when NOT passing reading or the FCAT were serious possibilities we had many conversations about moving him to private school and repeating third grade with different material in a new environment.
It is hard to have these conversations when, for yourself and your husband, school was easy. Awards racked up. Standardized tests were no big deal.
You think you're smart and then you get married to a guy you KNOW is smart, so you imagine how fun it will be to have smart babies. Oh the clever things they will say! Oh the funny ways they will entertain you! Oh how awesome it will be to watch their curious and creative minds master new subjects and develop interests and passions!
And then... because... life... you find yourself on a very different path. And nothing is a given.
Passing third grade was not a given.
Most days the new path is fine. Many days the new path is challenging in a good way. Some days the path is even a little... Exotic? Inspiring? Exciting? (Here's an exciting scenario: Let's see how Mommy does today on no sleep! When Child A hands her an F! And Child B screams and pulls on her while she's cooking dinner! And she discovers C has lied about his agenda report and really has quite the doozy of a note in there! If all this goes down within the same ten minute stretch, maybe her head will explode!)
Adoption! Crazy genetics! Whoo!
Fine. School is hard, but can't we at least score a conduct award?
Christians kids do not put in zero effort and produce sloppy work. Christian kids do not give their teachers attitude. Christian kids do not lie. Christian kids no not stab classmates with pencils, hit classmates with backpacks, steal classmates' juice boxes, or look up girls' dresses. (Ok maybe I'm no longer talking about Kaden here.)
I feel like all the other Christian families are raising kids who do their work diligently, make honor roll, take violin, and ask their moms in super chipper voices, "Can we volunteer in a soup kitchen today!" but only when they aren't saying, "I want to send my allowance to Haitian children!"
I feel like we are on the path that should produce such progeny. We sit down as a family for nightly dinner. We moniter television. We don't have a game system. We do fun family things like go to the beach and Disney and baseball games. We started off the school year with a Vacation Bible School where I was the music leader who got every kid in the room, including my own, to holler with deafening enthusiasm that they would, "SHINE GOD'S LIGHT!" Throughout the year, when either of my big two "made bad decisions" we talked about it in context of "shining God's light." All year long. We did this. Over and over. (And over.)
Oh and my kids can't send their allowance anywhere because they never earn their allowance. HOW HARD IS IT TO MAKE A FRIGGIN' BED?
We prayed before school. We prayed before bed. We discussed bible verses. We've had their butts in church. (But apparently, from the discussions in the car afterwards, we didn't always manage to get their heads there.)
Check. Check. Checkity check.
There are no givens.
So this is a post for all the parents who are doing their best. Carrying on. Pinning their hearts out only to have pinterest fail after pinterest fail.
I feel ya.
Here's the "summer bucket list" (Person who invented that term, don't come near me. Just don't.) for the kid who barely passed third grade:
1. Water balloons.
2. Beach Days.
3. Camps with water balloons and beach days.
Oh how I wish the list could end there. I do. I really do.
But we've got to gear up for fourth grade because rumor has it, these grades, they just get harder.
So there will also be...
4. A summer journal.
5. A summer reading list
6. Summer computer time logged into math programs
And oh... I may even have bought this to go through with the boys:
Because I'm... Delusional? Psychotically optimistic? Trusting that if I remain consistent, keep the Word in their worlds, train them up in the way they should go... that no matter what path they choose for themselves I'm still going to get a, "Well done good and faithful servant."?