Then and Now

It’s the last day of school today which means lots of reflection about how much the boys have changed in just nine short months.


  • When Thomas began first grade he was struggling with his reading. We were told that he was within the normal range but it still felt like a hurdle, one that I wanted him to get over mostly because I knew how much he would love reading if it was less of a struggle. At the end of first grade, he wants to read chapter books and our days of spelling things out to hide our conversations from the kids are over. It’s really incredible and I am so proud of how far he’s come.
  • He struggled to write more than a sentence or two at the beginning of first grade but last week read us an insect report that he wrote – more than 10 pages, complete with a table of contents.
  • He started the year with all but one of his baby teeth and now they’ve almost all been replaced, making his smile even bigger with those two huge front teeth. He also asked to grow his hair out (no more buzz cuts) which makes me realize that this is just the beginning of the many decisions he is going to want to make for himself in the coming years.


  • When Samuel started Pre-K he seemed so little. There were many mornings when I had to peel him off me while he cried for me not to leave. Now he gives me a quick kiss and hug and barely looks at me while I walk out the door.
  • At the beginning of the school year Samuel could read some letters and knew how to write a few letters in his name. Now, he can write his name in English without even thinking about it and and even copies his name in Japanese. He recognizes words in books and sometimes surprises me by reading a street sign or book title. I have about 20 letters that all say “I love you Mum”.
  • He GREW – about 3 shoe sizes and almost skipped a full clothing size. He is no longer the smallest in his class (not the biggest either) and his baby features have faded. He is well and truly a boy.

Ahhhh – the bittersweet feeling that comes from being proud that your children are growing up happy and healthy, that they’re learning and developing minds of their own but, at the same time, they’re GROWING and there’s just no stopping it. I don’t have babies anymore. Today, we’ll say goodbye to the Pre-K teacher who taught both Thomas and Samuel. In a thank-you card I jokingly said that we should have another baby just so she can teach that one as well because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to Pre-K forever.

But I will because I have to and, besides, Kindergarten will be fun too and Second grade is a whole new world we are yet to discover. I’ll just keep telling myself that until school starts again in September.

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