It’s early in the morning, and I am up a little earlier than usual. One of the boys is teething, and I have just gotten him back to sleep. The truth is I love this early hour, with its quiet and the possibilities of the day stretching ahead of me. As long as I can keep the distractions of email at bay, some of my best thinking happens.
Today, the first week of school ends. Excitement is high, and you can also see that the return to a fully structured day is still a little bit of a shock. I love the return of students to the hallways and cross walks. The quiet is nice in the summer, but I miss the sounds of conversation outside my door or the circumnavigation required when the full backpacks arrive en mass.
As I thought about this first week, it reminded me of something we read on one of the twins blogs that gives us another sense of community (and advice!). We aren’t raising kids, we are raising adults. So true. It’s not that we make it all about the future and none about the present, but the truth is how we handle this present shapes each of our children’s future. We want what is best for our kids, so that they will become happy, productive and contributing adults, so that at the beginning of each year they are ready for what is next. When I think about our boys, those steps are such small ones: how to share a toy, ask for milk, or self soothe themselves to sleep. In those moments (especially the wee hours), I sometimes loose sight of the over all goal: cooperation, self-advocacy, and autonomy. If we don’t pause, however, we may miss an important moment of learning, and an opportunity for a student to exercise a new muscle or build a new skill group.
Watching the Class of 2012 in the Circle, with boom boxes, scooters, faux hawks, and bubbles, I could see their adulthood beginning to shape in real ways. Although they could barely believe they were the big kids now, the ones the 9th graders would look up to, I could see that they were ready to begin this last chapter high school. That they were already becoming the adults we were raising them to be.