I am in the cleaning out mood. I’ve been throwing out, redecorating, moving things around. It has been long overdue. My children will be going back to school soon and we will start to settle down into the routine we all secretly love. I have to admit I am a pack rat of sorts so when I finally throw things away, it is with much thought, and usually it doesn’t occur until after I have thought about it for several years. School work is something that I tend to keep forever. I enjoy keeping the school papers with great grades, and I also enjoy keeping the school papers with not-so-great grades. One reason that I keep the not-so-great grades is that it reminds me that life is not about great grades. For those that know me well, you know that I am a math geek. It doesn’t matter what math it is, I love it. It was my passion for math and children that lit a spark in me to be a math teacher. This spark was not lit during high school. It was much later in life that I changed careers. I have a report card that my Mom and Dad kept from my senior year in high school. When they were cleaning out getting ready for their move, they gave me this report card. I was 40-something by then and really could not recollect my grades in high school. I have to admit that I was stunned when I saw this report card. I always prided myself on achieving good grades, and encouraged my children to have the same goal. My memory must not be what it used to be. My senior year in high school and I had a D+ in math. OMG! I came really close to failing math. I must have brought that grade up because I did graduate from high school as well as college and graduate school. I often show my students my grade in math so that they know that even I struggled in math. It’s a hard subject! I tend to have a photographic memory. When I take a test, I can see the answers in my mind as I read them on the page. Math is different. There is no page to see the answers. You may be mimicking a math problem but it is not the same math problem you see in the text. Its a variation. You have to know what you are doing. I guess maybe that’s why I finally came to love math. I struggled so hard that I worked that much harder. My photographic memory just did not work in math. So when I come across old papers of my children’s schoolwork, I like to show them what they did. Some of it is pretty funny. I came across a paper of Kelsey’s that she failed miserably. The teacher required my signature so she could be assured that I saw Kelsey’s grade. Keep in mind 10 years ago this would not have been funny, but I laughed when I saw this. The signature was clearly not mine. Oh it was definitely my name that was signed in cursive, but it was not my signature. Not really even a good forgery.
I just digressed so back to my story about the strange thing that just happened to me. Like I said, I was just cleaning out and going through some old papers. I ran across a school folder with some papers of Dawson’s from 3rd grade. One of those papers was a reading report showing his level of reading. On it, his teacher wrote “highest in class!!”. I remember that paper and immediately felt a sense of pride for Dawson. Maybe my mind went back to 3rd grade all over again, but I took a step toward the door so I could find Dawson and show him his fantastic work. A wave of sadness hit me and I realized that I can’t show that paper to Dawson. Wow! I’ve never done that before. This school year will trigger a lot of sadness for me. Dawson should be entering high school in a couple of weeks. He was so looking forward to being back in school with his best friend, Brock. They were in elementary school together but each went to different middle schools. They went through confirmation at church together and spent a lot of time together when Dawson could no longer attend school. Brock was one of Dawson’s pall bearers as we said a final goodbye to Dawson’s physical form. This September Dawson should be getting his driving permit. What a significant time in the life of a teenager. My faith tells me that Dawson is fine with missing these things. He is anxious to share his new life with us when our time comes to leave this world. I believe that with my whole heart, but it does not make the sadness go away.
I intend to relax a bit more this year and I will not worry about grades. If my children are doing their best, that is fine with me. Losing Dawson has taught me what is truly important in this world and it has nothing to do with grades. I have some important activities in the works so please keep checking back. We are going to be doing another Dawson’s Run 5K and have tentatively scheduled that to take placed on April 11, 2015. September 19, 2014 will be a significant date also. The Hagerty-Oviedo “hometown showdown” football game is that night and both schools are coming together for childhood cancer awareness. Plans should be finalized by next week so I will post more information when it happens.