Monday, August 24, 2009

1st Day of School a few years back...

Through my connections on Facebook, I have been enjoying the photos and comments of those who are sending off children to their first day of school today. It has been many years since my own children headed off to their first day of school but I have not forgotten those experiences.

I decided to attempt to locate a few photos of those days. I found several of our oldest son - the first one shows him heading off to 1st grade at PS 185 in Brooklyn, NY. The year in 1st grade was a challenge. It was the height of budget cuts in NYC and 70% of the cuts had come from the school system. There were 37 children in his 1st grade class - 13 spoke English as a 2nd language, 6 spoke no English at all, 3 were identified as emotionally disturbed - one of those dropped his crayons into the heater which filled the room with smoke; and started a fire in the closet on another occasion. His teacher learned after the 1st day of school she would be teaching 1st grade. She thought she would have a kindergarten class but because the 1st day enrollment required another 1st grade room, she was moved there. And with a 4 yr old plus a baby at home, I had no time to volunteer to help the situation. There were no music, PE, art or library teachers. But our sweet son survived and has overcome the deficiencies of that year.

Another photo shows him starting 2nd grade at PS 170. During the spring of 1st grade, we started our son with a reading tutor. She worked wonders with our son who for some reason wasn't getting too much attention at PS 185. We learned that the reading program used in 1st grade was a sight reading method and he was more created to learn with a phonetic approach. The tutor used a curriculum which was used at PS 170 and our request to switch him to that school was granted for 2nd grade. He thrived in that new school.

Another photo shows two brothers on the front steps of our home in Brooklyn, NY. They were both headed to PS 170 for 1st and 3rd grade but by November our family would move to Hartland, WI where my husband would pastor his 3rd church.

During our short 18 months in Hartland, our boys would ride a bus to school from our home on Dona Rd. In 3rd grade our oldest son was in his 4th school. He had gone to a small Lutheran church school for kindergarten.

Our daughter began school while we lived on the grounds of Camp Timber-lee near East Troy, WI. I haven't found a picture of her as she started school but I did find a picture of her as she cradled a baby chick at the camp farm. We had a wonderful time as a family living there for four years.

My hearts desire as a young woman was to be a wife and mother. God brought that desire to fruition for my life and I am extremely grateful. The time of sending our 3 off to their first day of school is in the past but I treasure the blessing of those days and the privilege I have of being a mother.

From my perspective, the profession of motherhood is a very high calling. I'm thankful that motherhood and homemaking are gaining in credibility as a chosen line of "work" - a profession - for many women. I am a cheerleader for Stay-at-Home moms. It is not the profession all women need to choose but it is a profession which ranks equal to any other profession a woman can choose. It is an honor to have been a Stay-at-Home mom for 15 years while my children were pre-schoolers and through most of elementary school before I added income which was used primarily for college educations.
Proverbs 1:8,9
Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
So as the school year begins, my thoughts blend the activities of life today with deep gratitude and sweet memories.

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