I often joke with my son. “Buddy, what’s going? How many inches did you grow last week?” Or…”Are you really sure you’re seven?” He still gets a little giggly when I remind him that he’s growing up or older, but he’s never rushed the process. “Hey little man!” I’ve commented on several occasions. “I’m not a man, I’m a boy!” he’ll respond and generally tells me the difference.
Usually birthdays remind me of how much my children have grown or how quickly this parenting experience is happening. This year its second grade. How can I have a second grader and why do I keep forgetting he’s in second grade? For example, as we hiked last weekend, we talked about the first week of school.
“Do you have the same Specials’ teachers you had in Kindergarten?”
“Actually, I have some teachers this year that I didn’t have last year…that I had the year before.”
“How is that possible? You either have them this year or last year?” I was a little confused.
“I had them for kindergarten and then for second grade, but not in first grade.” he gets his eye-rolling from me and his giggle from Sharlene. “Momma, I’m in second grade…remember!”
Here’s the thing…I didn’t remember. I keep forgetting that my son is in second grade. “Why can’t I remember that you are in second grade?” I look over to him and then to Sharlene. “I can’t get that he’s actually in second grade. It’s like we can’t stop this growing up thing…and I’m not ready!”
I enjoy being a parent to young children and the reality that my first baby is growing up is bitter-sweet. Second grade apparently means more to me than I realize. Ironically, Noah has had his own struggles with second grade. “Its harder than I thought?” he’s commented a few times in the past two weeks. More often than not we give him the opportunity to talk about what is difficult and validate his feelings. He has high expectations of himself and school has always come easy.
As a family, we often celebrate the challenges in our kids lives as opportunities for them to learn about themselves.
When he commented that he is not the smartest in class, Sharlene affectionately responded with, “Noah… there is always someone smarter, faster, or better.”
My response, “Moments like these remind you that enjoying what you do rather than being the best is what matters most.”
Together we often say, “All we ever ask is that you tried your best, not that you are the best!”
I hope second grade becomes a little easier for him and I hope that I can remember he’s really a second grader. Man, why is second grade so difficult?