Thursday, June 15, 2006

There's a 5th Grader in the House!

This afternoon marked the end of the school year for my son and his beloved school mates. At 12:00 p.m. PST to be exact. The excitement in the school yard was palpable. Teachers hugging their student’s goodbye, parents thanking teachers for a year of amazing work with their son or daughter, and the school’s director wishing everyone a wonderful summer. I was touched by the genuine, affectionate exchange between all.

With regard to my son, this past year has been one of transitions. Transitions I wasn’t quite prepared for; transitions that taught us both very important life lessons.

My son and I had some time to reflect on this past year. We talked about what we collectively learned. What we enjoyed. What we’re looking forward to.

Here’s what we came up with.


  • I learned about the California Gold Rush and that earning my allowance is far easier than panning for gold

  • I learned about the great explorer and environmentalist, John Muir, and how we all need to do our part in preserving our planet.

  • I learned about sex education and that my body is an amazing creation. (Which by the way; garnered some very interesting dinner time conversations.)

  • I learned to appreciate the convenience of my own bathroom after a rustic, primative camping trip in the Los Angeles Forest. Running water and flushing toilets RULE!

  • I learned how to do algebra, but that I appreciate geometry more. (I’m just thrilled I still had enough brain cells to help him with his math homework this year.)

  • I learned about the complexities of friendship and positive conflict resolution.

  • I learned that it was John Kerry who ran against President Bush, and not Jim Carey. But oh, what fun that would have been.

  • I learned that I like to dance.

  • I learned, after a recent field trip to Alcatraz, that having to do a time-out punishment isn't so bad. Twenty minutes is way better than twenty years to life.

  • I learned that organic foods are good for you.

  • I learned that I’ve outgrown my size 8 underwear. (Note to self – get to Target to buy new underwear.)

  • I learned that my friends totally ROCK!


  • I’ve learned that raising a man is a wonderful responsibility; and one that should not be taken lightly.

  • I’ve learned how much I love our family time in the evenings.

  • I’ve learned to not feel guilty when I’ve been beyond exhausted and couldn’t read a bed-time story.

  • I’ve learned that my son has an amazing sense of humor.

  • I’ve learned that I still hate algebra.

  • I’ve learned that my son loves to dance.

  • I’ve learned how to console my son when he’s been deeply hurt and disappointed by his friends.

  • I’ve learned that I hurt just as deeply when he hurts.

  • I’ve learned that my son can hold up to 30lbs in his backpack before he topples over with arms flailing.

  • I’ve learned that the snuggly, cuddly, lovable, affectionate young boy that stills crawls up on my lap, isn’t going to last forever, and to hold close each moment he does.

  • I’m learning to let go of the little boy and embrace the young man. This is a tough one, but I’m evolving.

As I put my son to bed this evening, I was hit with the fact that he woke up a 4th grader, but is going to bed a 5th grader. Another great milestone reached! Next year holds new adventures, more milestones, triumphs, and lessons to be learned. For now, I’ll tuck in my little man, treasure the moment, and whisper up my prayers of gratitude. Gratitude for the little boy he’s been and for all the joy that that has encompassed; and gratitude for the young man he’s becoming, and the joy that is yet to come.