I should probably bring my camera to work most days, if not every day. Something always catches my eye, inspires me, makes me wonder, makes me laugh. In a huge sandbox filled with toys, the thing that most captivated the children was finding and sorting and displaying the collection of rocks. This is sacred, to me.
As I think about it, what's amazing is how sacred it is to all of them, too. To think that, in a school with children from age three-and-a-half to fourteen, no one displaced a single rock when the play was over. I found this set up at about 7:30 a.m., which means that it had been there since about 1:00 p.m. (or earlier) the day before.
And then there's my boy. Whew! An 8th grader this year -- so grown up. Here in the U.S., eighth grade signifies the end of your elementary school years, and from here you go on to high school (for four years). Everyone goes to high school, not everyone finishes (you may legally leave school at age 16), and not everyone goes on to college (university). [edited to add: apparently I've felt the need to explain this a lot. sorry 'bout that -- I'm fixated. clearly.]
So Dean is on the threshold, educationally, between childhood and being a teenager. Sigh.
He continues to be a wonderful person. He's kind and polite and friendly; he's smart, he pays attention, and he cares. And while he's been playing soccer for the past 8 years or so, suddenly this season he's a whole new man on the field. All his skills have sharpened, and his ability to see the game and be strategic in his moves is beyond what I would have imagined for him. He's been moved back to play defense because he's one of the "big kids" now, and for the first time he has the ability to play in an appropriately aggressive way (up until now he's been waaay too unassertive to play defense!). Our family wonders together when he'll score from mid-field; he kind of misses some of the fun of being on offense and scoring goals, but his leg and aim are good enough that we (and his coaches) suspect he'll knock one in without playing out of position.
Too. much. fun.
I was awestruck today when I gave myself a moment to realize how wonderful this year has been. Despite my own kind of general grogginess and funk, despite difficulty figuring out what to put down, the reality is that it has been, and continues to be, an utterly fabulous year. I need to keep making myself stop, and think about that.