Project 52 Week 12

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Nothing says Brady like pants that are too short because he grows like a weed, a basketball in hand because sports is his life and hair that needs to be cut because it just doesn’t stop growing.

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A Non-Kindergarten Post and Update

{Digging back in the folder of posts I never hit publish on with this one. It is not timely and probably irrelevant to most of you but this me documenting our life}

August 2014

With the anticipation of a new school year and all the posts about kindergarten starting for so many kids there is a different conversation in our house.  Brady, fortunately and unfortunately, does not make the cut-off of September 1st to enter kindergarten since his birthday is October 19th.  And Cate for that matter won’t make the cut-off either since her birthday is September 2nd (GOD HELP US).  Glenn and I both know that this is for the better in the long run.  I have read about all the benefits socially, emotionally, physically and academically.  But none of those things matter right now and it is really hard to make an almost five year old understand at this moment why so many of his friends, namely his two best buddies from daycare, are in kindergarten and he is not.

Some days he is fine with it. Really okay with it because he gets to come to school with mom for one more year and we are filling his afternoons with tennis, baseball, soccer and swimming.  And other days, he wonders why he can’t go to kindergarten and ride the bus.  Yesterday, he asked if they would still come to his birthday party.  And today he asked when he turns five in a month if he would get to go to kindergarten too.

There is so much conversation about kindergarten readiness and I will tell you as a result of daycare, he is ready. He meets every readiness standard already. I won’t bore you with his skills but yes he is so very ready.  So as a result I worry about boredom in Junior Kindergarten at our daycare. I worry about him spending his days with quite a few kids who are so much younger than him even though this will be the story the rest of his life.  I worry about him making good choices when some of the older, positive influences are gone. I worry about the connections to those boys he keenly calls “his best friends”.  How much do we push to maintain those friendships and how do we handle it if those boys, naturally, move on?

And then there are things I don’t worry about.  He plays soccer and tennis with older kids because he can and holds his own. He is being challenged to get better. He gets mad when he someone scores on him and kinetically his coordination is years ahead of his peers. Two of his friends on our block are two years older than him and he does pretty well most days with them.  He’s got some raw athleticism that is helping him bridge the age issues were facing.

I know that this is just the beginning of our journey with Brady and Cate and their ages. The first, the oldest, the choices and the mistakes.  But I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that keeping him little for one more year is okay for now even if he thinks “it’s not fair”.

AN UPDATE 6 MONTHS LATER

Brady is fine in Junior Kindergarten, but I would be lying if I told you he is totally happy.  He tells us it’s boring some days.  But there are other days he tells me something he learned that literally blows my mind.  As much as I still believe he is MORE than ready academically, the best thing about another year of preschool is that emotionally he has had some time to grow, to make mostly good but a few bad choices and a year to still be little a bit longer.  5 is emotional.  More emotional than any other age that I can think of so far.  And I think this year, the growth has been there.  Sure, he could have gone to kindergarten, but I think he would have compensated for his immaturity emotionally with athletics and at some point that would stop working. He has new “best friends” and his love for his teachers is what I think keeps him happy and going. So, for now, I fill out the paperwork and worry about kindergarten for next year.

 

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4

kids 136copy2.jpglargethumbDear Brady (aka B-man, Brade, or Buddy),

I can honestly tell you that this has been to date the hardest letter I have ever had to write to you.  I open it up and close it every day some days writing nothing and other days writing so much that I end up deleting for fear of overkill.  Today, four years ago you entered this world as our first child and you have blossomed in to a little boy.  I knew nothing about being a mom and four years later you are still teach me something every day about my responsibility to you.  I catch myself for a split second every time I tell someone what an amazing kid you are because of course everyone thinks their kid is amazing.  But then, I still say it, because you truly are a remarkable little boy.  I ask myself and my people what I did to get such an amazing little boy as my son?

I can honestly tell you there is nothing I would change about you. I love your shy smile when you aren’t completely comfortable with a new person.   I love your deep belly laughs when I tickle your back.  I love the pure patience you show when interacting with your sister and letting her chase you even though it isn’t much of a contest.   I love your silliness when we talk about words like “booty”.  I love your curiosity about Chicago sports, specifically the penalty box and “the beast”.  I love the fact that you require snuggles when you wake up from a nap.  And I love that most nights for the past few months, the pitter patter of your feet come in our room at some point because you just want to sleep close to us.  I love how soundly you sleep when we are close by.

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I can honestly tell you there is no place and no time I would rather be than here with you now. I don’t wish you were still a baby and I don’t want you to get older.  I am truly living in these moments with you and loving you.  Your love for superheroes reminds me that magic exists and heroes are real.  Your imagination gives me hope that there is still an innocence to being little.  And your need for us to still push you on the swing or tuck you in reminds me that you are indeed still so little even though you want to be so big.kids 037copy.jpglargethumbThis past year was a big one. We bit the bullet last November and potty trained you. You did not look back. One weekend later and we ended up being naps and night trained as well. In your true spirit, you blew us away with your ease in doing things.  That’s you nature bud. You are just an easy going, mellow kid who wants to be loved. You continue to be so mild mannered that some days I wonder where that came from.  Maybe from your paw-paw? Not your daddy and I.   You do big kid things like go with your buddy places without us.  ut yet you are tenative to try anything new.   You are an old soul in your ways that you respond yet you are such a little boy in others. Your physical stature leads most to believe you are school age but we know you are right where you are supposed to be.  You are so kind to others that at times it takes my breath away.

This morning when you woke up you asked me, “Mom even though I am big, could you still stay until I fall asleep?”   And the answer is yes, buddy. Always. I will always be here.

Happy Birthday little man!

I love you to the moon and back.

Mama

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 all images via the Lewis Sisters Photography, Bloomington, IL 

 

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