Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fourth Grade

So, the first day of school is almost upon us. (Tuesday is Zoe's first day and Wednesday is Sebastian's first day) I can remember with great clarity what the first day is always like. Even though you have met your teacher and perhaps seen the class roll, so you know who to expect when you walk it, there is still the fear of the unknown. All you really know is the rumors you have heard about this teacher, which usually came from the kids older than you. So, you still have to once again figure out how he/she runs her classroom, what his/her expectations are, etc. and it's all nerve wracking, especially when you are nine. I think back to fourth grade. I was still in Mississippi in fourth grade and we were not self-contained, which meant I changed classes four times and had four different teachers. Fourth grade was when my English teacher tried to make my left-handed self write with a right handed slant to my letters. For some reason, she thought I was never going to make it in the world if I didn't slant my letters to the right. Maybe if she actually knew how very little any one writes in cursive any more. I think my only cursive is my signature and who cares what that looks like?
Fourth grade was also where we had the very first "All About Me" class for the girls and boys separately. While that conversation has already taken place in our home, I wonder if that is coming for her as well in school. Of course, our discussion included how that particular thing is reserved for your husband and how it's not just a crazy rule God made up, that it is actually for your protection. Everything can get really complicated really quickly when you go outside of God's will, especially in this particular area. At least some of the talk seems to have gotten through, because when our cat gave birth to kittens earlier this year, Zoe was ready to scour the neighborhood looking for the boy cat who had impregnated Katie so she could fuss at him for not being there for her during the birth. It was pretty funny, but at least she got what I was telling her, right?
Anyway, I know that this year will bring with it more issues to deal with, even though most issues we have so far have been very mild. They usually have to do with the way girls are friends with each other. All the drama and pettiness. How do I tell her that adult women are that way too and typically it is a recipe for disaster to try to get three women friends together? For some reason, even as adults we do better in even numbers.
But she is so different from me. Her experience will be different. She has a faith in God and an understanding and awareness of spiritual warfare that I never had until I was an adult. Definitely nothing we have done as parents, but lots of prayers for her and trying to point her in the right direction. After all, this entire time in their childhood is spent just trying to get them ready to leave the nest, right? To be able to function independently of us and to rely on their own faith and strength in God. I am praying that I am doing that for Zoe and the other children too.
So, Zoe, as you head off to fourth grade, I pray that you will have a fabulous year filled with fun and learning a lot! I am enjoying watching you turn into a person with real opinions and values and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you. I love you!

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