The summer is over. We folded it up and stored it away. Then, we unwrapped our New School Year this a.m. There were many firsts and lasts today. Today was Victoria’s FIRST day of high school. That’s right. I’ve got myself a freshman. I have been stalwart throughout the process. I am, after all, an educator. I know that she will be fine. But this morning as we dropped her off in front of the high school, she turned to wave and smiled this beautiful, confident, excited smile. She didn’t pause in her walking though–she glanced back for a moment, but she kept moving forward. And as we drove away, I cried. It was sadness and pride and joy all rolled together.
Today is Thad’s LAST first day of elementary school. Fifth grade. I taught fifth-grade for several years. I like fifth-graders–especially mine. Thad was not looking forward to going back to school, but as it turns out, he had a better first day back than his sister. He is nestled all snug in his school where he’s been for the past four years. He has friends and a host of teachers who have known him since he was seven–even his “new” teachers all know him.
Victoria, on the other hand walked into a HUGE building with rooms and lockers all about–with 3,000 students rather than 1,000 students. Friends were fewer and farther between–the adults she knows in the building aren’t ones she will see often. But both lived my definition of a successful first day of school–everyone eats lunch and everyone goes home. Once they were back within eyesight of me, Victoria’s day was “okay” and Thad’s was “good.” We’ll take it.
I, on the other hand, started MY first day in a new school district. The job I have long wanted and prayed for and waited for and looked toward began. I am teaching Language Arts in the same building with Tony. I can say that I survived and thrived during my three year daily pilgrimage to and from Cy-Fair. It afforded me time to ponder and pray and grow and learn. And these past two weeks as I’ve headed into a new place with new people and new curriculum and new ways of doing things, I have felt more excited about education than I have in awhile. I feel confident. I feel prepared. I feel ready to teach. And more than anything, I feel so very, very grateful to God for this blessing–it is a beautiful gift this job–this opportunity–this riding to and from school everyday with my family.
Tony had no firsts or lasts today. . .but his friend, David, is on all of our hearts. David and Tony went through the teacher program at U of H together, then taught together for a few years. They have traveled and fished and shot guns and palled around, and David is in ICU fighting for his life. He had undiagnosed viral liver disease that is curable though very hard to detect unless something catastrophic happens. Catastrophe struck last Wednesday. He was blessed to already have gone to the hospital when the worst came, but he has been in a medically induced coma since then so his body can heal. We got to see him and his wife yesterday, though he didn’t know we were there. Today we got a call that he has pneumonia and was also diagnosed with e coli that has infected his lungs due to last Wednesday’s episode. No one is allowed to see him, and the doctors are trying as hard as they can to save him. We would all covet your prayers on his behalf.
I hope whether you had firsts or lasts or just a regular Monday that it was a very, very good one.