Tuesday, September 19, 2017

So Far, So Good

The first two weeks of school are under our belts, we are well into the third already and so far, so good! Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it has been a smooth and lovely transition from one school to another and both kids have adjusted remarkably well, which makes Brady and I feel at peace in our parenting, at least for the moment. I think after last year, we deserve that small sense of tranquility.
When I think of the craziness of our previous schedules, it makes me wonder how we did it all. And not living in town on top of it, which adds lots of time and driving. How on earth did we manage? Although this summer was shorter due to the winter storms, it felt longer than the summer before, which was completely monopolized by Brailey's dance schedule - practice three days a week all summer long from 7:AM to 9:AM. There was not much sleeping in, that's for sure. And then the dance schedule continued to dominate our lives, with practices almost every day of the school year, usually from 8:PM to 10:PM. How did we even do that?! Throw basketball practice in there and games and dance performances and normal life and the fact that I am usually the only one home during the week just WOW! It is amazing the things you do for your kids that in retrospect seem a bit crazy, but at the time just seem like part of the package. What wasn't part of the package, however, was the level of sadness we saw in Brailey, and even though it was actually hard to give up dance and Spanish Immersion and our friends and the comfort of knowing what to do, it has been worth every single doubt to see her smile again. Thankfully, all those doubts have been erased, because both kids are doing great and frankly, thriving.
Britt is so happy to have all his classes in English for the first time ever, and he has been more inspired than ever to continue developing his athleticism. Not only did he find the basketball boys right away, he has also been able to play football at recess. He wasn't allowed to play at his previous school, because he wasn't deemed "good enough" by the boys that play "real" football. At Harrisburg, even the boys who play football are happy to play with Britt. The fact that Britt is tall is helpful, and he has his natural ability to make friends with everyone. Brailey has even heard about him from kids at the high school. "My sister said there's this really tall kid in eighth grade."And, "Have you heard about the new boy in eighth grade? He's really tall!" He is enjoying being the tallest kid in the school, that's for sure. Being tall is fun! And he has been practicing his football moves with Brady at home, soaking up every last ray of sunshine we can find before the rainy season hits. When I think back to the days of Britt as a Kindergartner and how he could barely run because of his legs, I can hardly believe how well he is doing today. He hasn't let his leg disability slow him down at all. Brady and I are so proud of him for how far he's come and excited to see where he goes.
I took the picture below before they got haircuts on Friday. We are loving not having school on Fridays! Our barber went on vacation right before school started, so for the first time ever, Britt started school with shaggy hair. He is handsome enough to pull it off, lucky for him.
We were thrilled to get to go to Brailey's cross country meet on Saturday. Talk about fun! These races are fast (meaning they don't last all day long), supportive and inspirational. As we got there, the last runner from the younger kids was coming down the stretch, and his team was running next to him, cheering him on while the crowd clapped him in. It was so touching to me, I started crying! Britt couldn't believe it, but I met another mom who also cried at that moment, so I'm not the only one. Below, Brailey and one of her new friends and teammates, Delilah.
One of the girls from her team is missing, because she fell off a ladder while washing her dad's semi-truck the day before. But every girl seemed sweet and happy and fun! Brailey has so much fun on these trips, she asked us if she could please ride the bus back home. We couldn't say no. We are absolutely thrilled she wants to spend more time with her team! In our book, that's a good sign.
The boys race first, and so the girls cheer them on at the start. The guy in the green is her coach. He is the most amazing coach we've ever seen! Harrisburg is very lucky to have someone like him leading this team. 
Everyone else on the team started training at the beginning of August. We didn't know who to get in touch with until school registration, so Brailey has only had two and a half weeks of training. But she is doing great! She's already learned a lot and she will get in better shape and be able to run faster and harder as time goes on. Unfortunately, she has developed some horrific shin splints, but we are doing our best to get them healed up. The good thing is that she absolutely loves it! I still miss seeing her dance, but she is much happier in this environment, and I feel grateful to my toes for that gift. It is amazing the difference NICE and KIND can make in an atmosphere, no matter what the sport or situation. 
Here she comes, and there's her dad, taking a picture and encouraging her to keep going. They had a humongous hill to climb. It reminded me of Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge. Brady cheered her on the entire way up, and she could hear him. "Come on, Brailey!"
We had a blast finding her on all the checkpoints. We had to hustle so we didn't miss her! Below, Britt is with the coach's son. He is a sixth grader Britt met at school, and super sweet. He and Britt hung out all morning. His older sister is on the team.

The home stretch! She did it! I don't know how, after climbing that hill, but she totally did! We are excited to see how she ends up at the end of the season. She shaved over a minute off her third race from her second race, and she's running varsity, which is exciting. It will be fun to see the improvement she shows by the end.
The team table. Their coach ran in the open, the last race of the day, because the boys wanted him to. He beat all of their times, except for one boy. Not bad! He told them he is going to beat them all next year.
Britt had so much fun, he decided he is going to join the team next year! Unless he can talk his mother into letting him play football, that is. We shall see. I'm just glad he saw how great it was and that he and Brailey are doing so well in their new schools. It isn't easy to be the "new kids on the block," but they are fitting in just fine. So far, so good. We are looking forward to a fun-filled, less-chaotic, peace-filled, happy school year!

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