Not unlike the Jeffersons, today is a day all about moving up in our house.
Yesterday was Elliott's last day of kindergarten. As he has already reminded me several times this morning, that means he has now moved up to the first grade. He tells me that like the move comes with privilege. I'm not sure what that privilege might be. More importantly, I'm not sure he does either.
My head spins when I think about how quickly this year passed by. How fast a foreigner to grade school became a confident student. I guess every parent wants there kid to do well in school - to get educated. But frankly, my hope for this year was that Elliott wouldn't experience some kindergarten crisis that would begin a 12-year war to get him to simply show up each day. In the end, both objectives were accomplished.
Most days I am amazed at how much Elliott knows and has learned as a kindergartner, which often serves as a bigger reminder of just how little I know as a near 50 year-old. And he loves school. Some days he tries to convince you otherwise, but I can't recall a single morning this past year when Elliott said he didn't want to go to school, even on a few days when he was sick. That says a lot; Elliott doesn't hesitate to let you know when he doesn't want to do something.
I'm proud of what Elliott has accomplished this year. There is no doubt, though, that his teacher, Mrs. Hogan, played a tremendous role in what he and all of his classmates took away from kindergarten. Not just in what they learned, but also in how colorful and fun and good she encouraged them to see the world, to imagine themselves in it. She is a great teacher. Not because she is smart, although I'm sure she is, but because she has this unique ability to turn her love for kids into inspiration and instruction. Not all teachers have that. Shoot, not all parents have that.
Which leads to more moving up news. Mrs. Hoggan is going to be moving up with her class. We received a letter from Elliott's principal that Mrs. Hoggan had requested to move with her kindergarten class to first grade. Request granted. Elliott's parents ecstatic! I don't know if Mrs. Hoggan is running around her house this morning celebrating and shouting to the world that she is going to be a first grader like Elliott is. If not, no worries, because I'm doing a little shouting for her!
Ian is also moving up. He's moving up to his last year of pre-school - junior kindergarten they call it. Which means we're only one year away from having both boys in grade school. I'm not sure there's an official "hey dad, you have no more babies" moment, but I can't think of one that will make it any more clear than the day Kiddie Kingdom is no longer a morning destination. I'm not sure how I'll feel about that. I'm glad I have a year left to figure it out.
And finally, mama is moving up. Katie is leaving her teaching job to work part-time on a couple of different adventures and to pursue her photography dreams. No small benefit of that move is the additional time she'll get to spend with the boys. Ian will only be going to Kiddie Kingdom part-time, and she'll be there to greet Elliott when he arrives home from school each day. I'm grateful for the opportunity God has given us. I don't know if it will be an opportunity that lasts a day or a lifetime or something in between, but there is no denying it is a blessing.
As for me, well, I'm moving out. Not OUT, but my quiet home office of the past couple of years is about to be not so quiet, at least over certain parts of the day. So I imagine I'll be visiting the new local Chick-Fil-A a bit more - they let me sit in a booth for hours on end and the only thing they ever say to me is "do you need a re-fill on your coffee sir?" For quieter times and when life gets a bit over-caffeinated, the local library is a nice landing spot. But wherever I am, I'm sure it will feel a lot like a deluxe apartment in the sky, like I've finally got a piece of the pie.