New Chapter

Summer is ending and a new chapter starts.  It is the beginning of a new school year.  For two of my grandkids, it is a huge step. No longer are they walking in the front door of an elementary school as the littlest kids in the hallway. Nope, they are not kindergartens anymore. 

School is back in session and they are in the big league now, first grade.  There is no looking back. Now school lasts a whole day, no break, all subjects are covered and coloring pages are few and far between.  Sooner rather than later, they will find those dreaded pages to be ones they miss.  Now, days will be compounded with spelling quizzes, reading comprehension, math tables and homework projects.  But they will also learn and grow leaps and bounds as their young minds develop beyond where their parents even envisioned them being in one year.

Also, in another town, far away from where I live, I saw pictures of a cute little girl, through the wonders of Facebook!  She was embarking on a bus ride to kindergarten I presume, looking as pretty as her mom and not showing an ounce of fear.  Maybe having her male buddy, my grandson, at her side helped. They both were all smiles lighting up the picture as their parents took turns posing with them on that first day. She looked more than ready for the lesson plans ahead.  I doubt her experiences in the classroom will do anything but build her confidence level in her ability to do anything in life she wants to do.  I hope that attitude will make my grandson love school as much as her!

My other grandson headed towards big boy preschool. He had no idea that now he was going with non-autistic children. See, labeling is not something our family really believes in.  People are people, period.  God doesn’t label individuals so why should we?  Autism is a diagnosis of sorts, not a definition of a person.  And this handsome dude is performing so well, he is ready to be with other young children socially and academically just like he did in one of his 2 day a week classes last year.  So far, he is excelling and so well behaved.  Cheers to his future! He surprises us every step of the way.

The other grandchildren, they are all thriving too. They have enjoyed their summer and have each mastered new things and grown.  Vocabulary for the little one has expanded, as has his temperament. Would a child be normal if it hadn’t?  And for the 5 year old, he has become even more social and loveable.  This is so refreshing to see in a boy.  Our other one in Michigan we don’t hear as much about. His mom doesn’t keep us as informed as the other moms but through Facebook we do see pictures from time to time and looks happy. To us, that is what matters most, happy and loved!

Someone else who began a new chapter in life recently is a woman in my family who married a high school sweetheart in Michigan a little over a week ago, my cousin Bill’s daughter. Theirs was a relationship filled with the usual turbulence everyone goes through, the ups and downs, on and off again that make up real relationships. Who has the fairy tale beginning and ending story to romance?  Yeah, the Bachelor and Bachelorette Show, ah, Reality check! Donnie and Donna are the real drama of a relationship. 

They certainly had the culmination of a long time coming resolution of a long courtship.  The wedding was beyond beautiful.  It was touching, was ceremonious and yet had love, laughter and was a blast too! All in attendance would agree, the love that was felt at the wedding was simply mesmerizing and carried over to the guests. 

I have always considered myself a great judge of character.  I seem to have good intuition too.  Watching the bride and the groom interact, I was struck by the camaraderie, the ease at which they moved together. They seemed to move as one, such was the comfort level with each other.   And I know God was smiling because their daughter has a new beginning. Just after turning one, her mommy and daddy are married now!

Even more poignant to me was the level of love you witnessed at the reception in the groom and bride’s family. It was like watching a love-fest! 
Honestly, I have never seen families so outwardly affectionate towards each other.  It was quite moving to all in attendance, and made many of us envious that we were not part of such dynamic families.  The brother of the groom and the groom were continually in celebration that evening of the day’s events and yet, through it all, you could tell their commitment to each other.  Two brothers bonded forever.  Thus, the groom was starting a new chapter but was not leaving his brother or his family behind. Nor was the bride.  It was a beautiful blending of two loving families. Two families began a new phase in life, loving and sharing in each other’s lives that night and in the future.   

New chapters in our grandkids lives help us recognize that the world keeps on turning and, as it does, our lives are changing too, in a good way.  When we attend a wedding, we see the ending of one way of life for two single individuals and the start of a new world opening up for the married couple.  Time changes things and, as it happens, so must we.  It is a challenge we must accept. 

In both instances, just like in many things in life, beginning new chapters means picking and choosing what you leave behind.  History can repeat itself if you do the same thing you have always done. Wisdom is not doing so. 

What got those children to the front door of the school or the couple to the altar means far less than what they all do after they got there. The same is true of all of us. What you did yesterday is not nearly as important as what you do today.  For today is your new chapter. Make it a good one.  And remember, wonderful chapters are happening all around us; School is starting, a marriage began today, a baby was born, someone resolved their differences, a new job began, a child was adopted…

My video is simply images of the folks I mentioned in my blog…enjoy! I wish them all the best, every one of them! 

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