Those of you who are easily nauseated should skip this post, for I am going to shamelessly boast about my eldest child.
For a number of years, Joey had a difficult time in school (with academics, never behavior). In addition, he had trouble finding an extracurricular activity that he had a knack for. These things combined seriously shook his self-confidence and resulted in Jay and I being very worried about him.
Everything is different now, and I am so grateful.
This morning, I attended a sixth grade awards assembly at Joey's school where he was selected as the first "Student of the Month" for his class of 32. There is only one per month so it is not an honor everyone receives during the year, by any means.
Last year Joey also made student of the month (twice, actually) but was selected by his resource teacher, not his regular classroom teacher. Today's recognition was what he had been hoping for, to be chosen by his primary teacher.
Listening to her talk about why she chose Joey, I heard her describing the child every parent dreams of. Consistently works hard in school, is always pleasant and willing, tries again when he doesn't get something right the first time. To frost my cake, Joey's other teacher (they switch between two classes in sixth grade to prepare them for Jr. High) came up to Jay and I after the assembly and said that she, too, would have chosen Joey if he had been in her homeroom. She echoed the sentiments of his primary teacher...and she is his language arts teacher, his weakest subject!
Two or three years ago Jay and I would have paid anything, made any sacrifice, to have a conversation like that with his teacher, yet today we had it.
On the extracurricular front, Joey has also made amazing progress. This week, he got "promoted" to the higher offense in football in recognition of his great personal improvement over this first half of the season. He is hitting hard and making his blocks more and more consistently. He is now playing defense too, where his job is to sack the quarterback. Yesterday, to his utter surprise, he actually reached him for the first time (against the best offense in the league). It was clear to everyone that it would be the first of many for him. He also, for the first time, got to play QB for a few snaps yesterday. He was so jazzed. That would not have happened a year ago.
Further, we are coming into snowboarding season, the sport where Joey was naturally gifted from his very first run down the mountain. With all his new gear (gratis from the wonderful 686 company) he is going to be a sight. I am so glad for him.
None of this success would mean a thing to us if he weren't also a really great person. He has a good conscience and is reliable. He is funny and fun to be with. I trust him.
How blessed we are to see our child, after many prayers, transform into all we knew he could be. There is no greater joy than witnessing your child, especially one who has struggled so, experience success born from hard work.
Yes, it is a good time for his parents.
P.S. The other kids are doing really well too! More on them another time...