Third, Sixth, and Seventh grade- check!

I’m looking for a high five as we approach the finish line.

Or maybe a few cheers to finish strong.

I’d be happy with a simple hallelujah over here.



In the longest/shortest year of our family life and I cannot believe we are about to wrap up our first school year in Oak Park.

Third, Sixth and Seventh grade.

3 different schools.

3 different kids.

3 different experiences.

And we all survived!

The Third Grader-

Somehow we ended up with that one teacher in elementary school that everyone wants. We were one lucky family. She made third grade in a new state with new kids a happy and positive year. She loved Will. She pushed Will. She affirmed Will. She advocated for Will. She cheered him on, every step of the way. And she appeased me when I sent her emails of “Are you sure he’s doing ok?”

He’s the BEST addition to Beye School,  she wrote.   She means it.

It was the year of chess, Percy Jackson, learning the Ripstik, and walking to school.


The Sixth Grader-

We took a big leap – a huge risk and started Josh at a private school this year. Last year ended (and possibly started…) in such a mess that this year we headed in with our chest pulled tight with anxiety.  How will this go?

When I got the third call in one week this fall to come pick up Josh because he didn’t “feel good,” there was a falling back into the let’s give up mode.  But,  when I walked in the door and his teacher greeted me calmly and with ease, he offered the words we all needed to hear.

This is the work this year.   Settling him in, helping him like school,  getting this anxiety until control.   THIS is the work.

And he worked.   We worked.   And,  it worked.  School became a good place again.

In fact, he would say, school became the safest and happiest place he has.  As mom I have to humble myself in accepting this and say, If it isn’t home right now-that’s ok.   PRAISE GOD it’s school!

It was the year of school outside, making new friends,  becoming a writer and walking to the library.



The Seventh Grader-

Our girl went on her own to the Big.   Scary.  middle school.   Every morning she put on her brave face, went in  and sat alone. She worked through her lunches to avoid the cafeteria.  She made the school work her friend.  Yet, she persevered and she kept trying. And then things began to turn.   One day,  the light came back to her eyes.  Her smile returned to her face.  She was welcomed into one big hearted group of friends.  She put her foot into other circles too.  She found her place in so many spaces.

It was the year of the 4.0, making diverse friends, loving soccer and learning to cook.IMG_0344IMG_0395

Of course there is work left to be done!     The boys have been slower to develop friendships.  We are still the new faces at all the events.  Finding our way requires a vulnerability that is exhausting.

But we’ve come this far and we’re gonna celebrate for what IS and the beauty of change.

And, best of all, WINTER IS OVER IN CHICAGO!   (and a mild one at that, don’t remind me.)










2 thoughts on “Third, Sixth, and Seventh grade- check!

  1. Oh, Lisa! HALELUIA!!!!!!!!! I am SOOOO proud of all of you! It brought tears to my eyes to learn that school is Josh’s safest and happiest place! And Abby’s strength is so admirable! You are doing a tremendous job at the hard work of parenting!


  2. Lisa…thanks so much for this. It is so good to hear about each kid and their story this year, each one being so unique to them. I love the way you write and the feelings you bring into the story. You are doing a great job bringing them along. Peace seems to be settling in. Thanks.


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