Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zack the 6th Grader

A child's life is often measured by their progress through the checkpoints of school and academic development.  On Monday Zack reached another of those milestones when he began middle school.  I cannot believe all that he has accomplished in the last year!
(Zack waiting at the bus stop for 6th Grade Orientation)

When school started in August of 2009 Zack was barely functioning.  He was paralyzed with anxiety and fear.  With the start of the 2010/2011 school year the story of Zack couldn't be more different!  Instead of walking into school with anxiety guiding his behavior, Zack began his sixth grade year with determination, joy and happiness.  I am not sure if I have ever seen him more confident in himself and more determined to succeed.

The school year for Zack started last Friday morning at 7:37AM when he caught the bus to West Middle School for his 6th grade orientation.  I was one of the few parent who walked their sixth grader to the bus that day, but I was glad I did as I wanted to see him off.  As soon as we arrived at the bus stop he immediately fell into conversation with all the kids he hadn't seen since school left out in June.

Orientation day was lots of fun for Zack and he came home inspired and excited.  After he arrived home on the afternoon bus, we went back to school and set his locker up.  Zack was amazingly good at handling the combination to his locker.  For a kid who has always had a hard time remembering details he did a fantastic job remembering his combination and get into his locker.  As I watched other kids trying to do the same thing I realized that Zack was actually way ahead of the rest of his classmates!

(Zack standing at his locker after we set it up.)

This past Monday - August 23rd was Zack first day of real class.  Like many parents who are seeing their kids off to the bus for the first time I was definitely apprehensive.  To calm my apprehension I walked to the corner of Willow St and Mineral Ave then sent Zack on his way to the bus stop.  (The bus stop is about 100 yards down Mineral from the corner.)  I stood there and watch as Zack stood there talking to the other kids who arrived at the bus stop.  After about 5 minutes the bus came and all the kids got on board.  I stood there at the corner until the bus went by.  As it passed I saw Zack at a window smiling and waving at me furiously.  He looked so happy!

Monday passed quickly for me as I had a lot of work to do.  I had told Zack that he needed to walk home from the bus stop himself as he was now a middle school student.  At 3:40PM I started to watch the clock as I expected Zack to bound in the front door at any time.  At 3:52PM he finally walked in - with a big smile on his face!  He had an excellent day at school!

(Zack eager to go to school on Monday August 23rd!)

Tuesday morning I was off to Boulder for work so I didn't even walk Zack to the corner.  At 7:30AM I told him it was time to go and he was off to the bus stop by himself for the first time.  I left the house about 3 minutes later as I needed to get on the road to Boulder.  As I drove by the bus stop I saw Zack standing there in the midst of a circle of 4 or 5 other boys talking in a very animated manner.  It was at that point that I truly realized that Zack has matured and grown so much!

I am so proud of my boy!

Thanks and peace to all! ~ J.