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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ode to Jon David

The agony and the ecstasy... Jon David is in first grade for the first time today as I am writing these words. For some reason, first grade is harder for me than kindergarten. It's probably due to the fact that it's all day. We had the luxury of doing half day kindergarten--both in Castle Rock, and here in Wilmore--where we finished out the school year.
The summer has been GREAT! We had such a fun time traveling, swimming, playing, eating, talking, going to the library, parks... He and Luke had 4 wks worth of swim lessons, and did GREAT! However, the past couple of wks have been a little long... August rolled around, and I was starting to really look forward to school. This past Monday, we had some errands to run, and Jon David was bored, always wondering how long everything was going to take. He asked me for food almost non-stop, he didn't listen very well to simple instructions, and I was getting very annoyed. Yesterday, I decided that if he asked for food too much, I would not give him a snack. And, in the words of Mom, he finally "put his hairy toe over the line." I was prepared. "Ok, Jon David, no snack this morning." It was quite shocking to him. No snack? He sobbed. Not for 1800 hours? (or something similarly unreasonable). Well, I said, yea, lunch is 3 hours away. (Can you begin now to catch a glimpse of the rediculousness of him having been hungry in the first place--it must have been 9:00 A.M. or something). Poor kid. His metabolism drives me NUTS sometimes!!! I know that Mom is laughing uncontrollably at the memory of me being constantly hungry too... I know, I remember, and still am frequently hungry. Everybody knows that I eat like a horse (when I don't have gestational diabetes). I guess it's payback... I also have memories of just being hungry a LOT--my stomach growling @ school, longing for a snack... what are you going to do? At some point, the kid's gotta toughen up and get used to the fact that not everyone travels around w/endless amounts of peanut butter crackers on hand, oh, and a drink too, please... Sweet boy came out of the womb hungry like this. I remember him wanting to nurse CONSTANTLY. I felt like a cow: lying on the bed, feeding my son hour after hour, minute after minute... OK, so I'm exagerating a little for effect. All of this to say that my precious 6 year old's gravy train is quickly coming to a screaching halt. Mommy has officially had enough. I kept thinking, " I can't wait for school, I can't wait for school"--well, not so much in front of him, but to myself. He is growing up. And he is growing up in many positive ways of course, too. He is getting very smart, and interacting well with his peers. He is beginning to learn how to navigate the social aspect of life, learning how to play soccer, swim, read... It's a little scary sometimes how quickly they grow up. Long story short, we were all pretty pumped about this first day of school--for a variety of reasons :). We went to see his teacher yesterday and drop off school supplies, and JD was happy about his new room, etc...
This morning finally came, and I had studied ways to get his stomach nice and full for breakfast, offering him pancakes, bacon, eggs, tea... So after a hardy breakfast, off we set: Mommy, Daddy, Luke, backpack, and everything. We arrived at the classroom and again, all was good. Jon David turned around to give us hugs, and seemed confident and ready for the day. The teacher asked Jon David if he wanted to show Daddy his desk, so instead of leaving right away, we went on in (is there some foreshaddowing going on, here?). Several other parents were in there, too. I saw one or two Moms that I recognized and chatted for a few minutes, becoming gradually aware that we needed to make an exit soon. Sure enough, I turned to take one more picture of him at his desk, and -- as you might observe -- there was a slight shadow across his face.

I gave him a goodbye hug, and made my way towards the door.
Well, I don't know if it was all of the kids he didn't know... or the lack of activity... or the fact that reality was just beginning to sink in... or the fact that he was the only one sitting as his table grouping at the time... But whatever it was, he lost it, and right around the time I made it to the door, he ran into me with an intense hug crying out "I don't want to go!" Thank goodness Don had come with us. He pried Jon David off of me, and said he would handle it. Luke and I waited in the hallway. There were so many people, we had to walk a ways down, so I couldn't hear what was going on. After a while, Don came out. He said that the teacher finally said that she would take care of it, and Don had to pry Jon David off of himself (still crying) in order to exit the room....
All of a sudden, it didn't matter how much he had pestered me the previous two weeks about not wanting to do his hooked on phonics; or asked for snacks and/or attention, and toys at the store; wanted me to tell him a story; or wanted to tell ME a story; wanted entertainment; wanted to go to a friend's house, or a friend to come over to play with him; argued with Luke; been sassy or disrespectful... All I wanted was to be sure that he was OK. I wanted to go see if he was still crying... I wasn't sure I was ready for the big school thing afterall. Don knew it, too. He kept looking at me in the hall on the way out. I finally told him to stop. I was trying really hard to suppress the tears. As soon as we got home, they all came spilling out. And I had just told a friend yesterday that I wasn't one of those sad Moms on the first day. I was ready! Well, I guess not...
Having kids is truly the biggest roller coaster I have ever been on... OK, except for dating Don, if I'm to be true to myself (you're welcome, Don). There is a nursery rhyme that goes like this:
There once was a little girl,
With a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very very good.
But when she was bad,
She was horrid.

I have often thought about that poem. The first phrase of this blog post "the agony and the ectasy" describes what it has been like to parent Jon David in a lot of ways. He is such an unbelievably wonderful child. His heart for God is incredible. He loves people and wants to do what's right. Forgive me for not elaborating more on his good qualities in this post. But when things take a down turn, ... yea, well you get the picture.

So, I take Luke to the park, talk to Mom for a while, and a friend. When I get back home, I notice that there is a message from Jon David's teacher. She said that he is fine, and that we should not worry, enjoy our day, and that she will call us if there are any problems. Thank You, Lord! God heard my anxious prayers that he would stop crying and be OK. And what a great teacher!
So all's well that ends well.
Luke's first day is a week from today. Maybe I'll write an ode to Luke, too. Anyway, my heart, stomach and other bodily functions have calmed down and are now functioning properly again. Life is good.
Again. :)
Ah... what adventures do I still have ahead of me as the Mommy of Jon David. I love you, JD!


  1. Oh my goodness, how heartbreaking! Sweet boy, I would have cried too... (and I'm sure I did:)

  2. You are such a precious mom. John David is going to do just fine.



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