Today my teens start a new semester. They’ve had a week and a few days off of school as they prepared for and wrote final exams and now they have a new slate of classes to look forward to. For Max, it is his final semester in high school. He’s one of those kids that loves school and until he was in grade nine, arrived home and when posed with my question, “How was school?” answered, “It was great!” This made my life with him so easy. He is an optimist and sees the good in each endeavour. When he was in grade nine, it stopped and I thought that it was just his age and that I had lost that enthusiastic little fella. Then in grade ten, it started again and has continued with only one day in grade twelve that I can recall, when he wasn’t thrilled about something in his school day.
Max was the kind of child who always cherished and made the most of his free time. We have 4-5 tree houses in the yard, a zipline, paintball course, basketball court and our trampoline doesn’t owe us a dime. He had to be coaxed in for dinner, from the snow hills at night even in -30 degree weather and he created and created and created… But he also did any job I asked him to do, diligently and readily without complaint, completed any schoolwork that was brought home without being asked and when he went to bed at night, slept soundly until morning. He learned early to take charge of his own life and I have just been here on the sidelines guiding and marvelling.
I’m not saying that Max hasn’t had his challenges, but he has been a bit of a dream child and as he enters the final semester of his high school career, I am feeling bittersweet emotions. I know that there are kidlets along side of him with struggles that I wish they didn’t have to face at this age, or any age for that matter, and I would love to tell them to remember recess and snack time, story time and helping a friend button his coat, and how simple these things are at asking us to just be. Inspired by Stuart McLean’s School Pledge, I hope that during these last few months of Max’s elementary and high school life, he and his classmates will make time to laugh, really laugh, and to play with a joyful and kind heart because HOW they play is how they will live their life, and I want Max and all children “to follow the path of peace and understanding and live softly on this good earth”.