I never thought I’d get to write one of these – I’ve seen so many children shown off on their first days back to the next level-up of school, and I’ve always missed out – this year I get to JOIN IN! It’s terribly exciting!
I want you all to help me celebrate one of ‘my’ kids, who starts MIDDLE SCHOOL today, and who I get to meet IN LESS THAN A WEEK! This young man – Little Dude (or LD) – is SO awesome, and I want to tell you all about him. And I’ll remind you that he’s the one who makes me look like THIS:
Even though I don’t get to be involved in the nitty-gritty of being around for the raising of ‘my’ kids, I LOVE the ways I get included in LD’s life. So I leave the everyday runnings in the imminently capable hands of his mom, Samara (who could fill another post entirely, with the good things I have to say about her) and I just get to do the FUN bits, albeit long-distance.
I get to receive beautiful letters from him (see image above), and know that he thought enough of me while he was having the time of his life on summer camp, to bother writing a gorgeous letter JUST FOR ME. I was ill when I received it, and it made me smile SO HUGELY that he thought of me…I felt a million times better, and sunshine flooded my heart, even though I was in such physical pain.
That kind of consideration is a very clearly-defined character trait in him. He is kind and generous with his care for others. He helps adults and younger children alike, and I was fortunate enough to ‘attend’ his graduation ceremony when Samara took me along in her phone and showed me snapshots of the day, and I TELL YA, this young man is AWESOME.
I know I’ve already rhapsodised about it, but to be able to share in a day when he was called up on stage again and again and again for different achievements, and in honour of the multitude of things he’s participated in, was AMAZING. I felt improprietarily SO PROUD of him, and it was all I could do to keep myself from cheering aloud for him (in the office, with my colleagues wondering what the heck was happening). I told my entire family about getting to ‘attend’ his graduation, and how proud I was of him, and how much I love being a long-distance aunty to him.
Summer came and went, and LD went to camp. I heard updates about him adapting to manage day-to-day life with very little in the way of home comforts, and that he was engaged and interested and ACTIVE in the life of the camp, and embraced the role he was given there. And of course, one of those things was letter-writing…
…he seems to really like writing, too. And reading. And being somewhere with that still, quiet aura, which only comes from closeness to books (for they hold all life’s secrets, should we take time to decipher them, and he does). I know he’s getting into music, and that he has been taken on several *utterly beautiful* trips to extend his knowledge and understanding of culture and the arts.
I was reliably informed that art has recently ‘clicked’ for him, and that he spent a long time ‘lost’ in various of the pieces. I was shown some photos and (with permission) I’d like to share my favourite with you – he seems utterly entranced by this Pollock piece, and I know some people dismiss Pollock as pretentious rubbish, but honestly I think it’s provocative and endlessly fascinating, and a LONG TIME FAVOURITE of mine has been THIS SITE, where you can doodle your own Pollock-style piece, and I LOVE that LD likes him too…
Now he has new school supplies and clothes and his very best attitude (seriously – read some of Samara’s updates about her conversations with him – he has a gloriously dry sense of humour, and is whip-smart) all ready and gathered for his first day – TODAY!
I managed to suck at aunty-ing In Real this summer (to be fair, it’s not really our culture in England to celebrate the first day of school with furore, fanfare, or any kind of ‘to-do’) so I’m appropriating my borrowed nephew’s culture in order to celebrate him. And I would LOVE IT if you’d all leave a message of encouragement for him as he starts a VERY exciting and important new phase of life.
Come ONNNN MIDDLE SCHOOL!
LD, my sweet, you’ve TOTALLY got this – have a GREAT day.
Lots of love, Lizzi xXx