Although we’ve gone back to school and recently even dropped the masks at school, there is still these stark reminders that we live in a very different world than we did a year and a half ago. The 6th grade oceanography trip was cancelled, which was to be expected. The teachers vs 6th grade volleyball game was cancelled because they didn’t want kids sharing a ball (although it’s fine at the high school level). And the 6th grade graduation and awards ceremony was non-existent. All of these were school based decisions and the school a mile and half away in our same district chose to keep their events.

In all reality, none of these events were really important or life-changing, but they were something these kids were looking forward to and I wish they could’ve participated in just a few of these fun events they had anticipated. Instead, we got to watch them walk around the school in a parade. They encouraged parents to make posters and bring balloons and treat it like a celebration…so we did. We wanted Hunter to feel celebrated as he leaves behind elementary school for junior high. He will be giving up his recess time which is a big milestone in his life!

He made some great friends his first year in kindergarten and those boys still hold a special place in his life.

Our neighborhood has quite the 6th grade posse and it is not unusual to see this unruly group riding up and down the streets on their long boards. Life is more fun when you’re surrounded by friends. I remember talking to Hallie a few years back about going to 7th grade and she was so bugged that we were going to make her ride the bus (how cruel were we!). Hunter just mentioned today in passing how fun riding the bus is because it’s an extra 30 minutes that he gets to see his friends every day. Paradigm shift!

I was surprised to see our friends show up to the parade with the stick faces I made two years ago when their buddy was celebrating his birthday in the burn unit. We also used them the first day of school when they all started back at school and their friend was still in the hospital. They’ve grown up just a bit! I’ve got a feeling those faces are going to show up many more times in the years to come.

6th grade didn’t go as we expected. Every step along the way there were minor disappointments. (three different teacher assignments, cancelling of his off-campus GT class that was going to be focusing on robotics, after school programs didn’t happen, student council that really wasn’t, all major school events cancelled on top of all the 6th grade end of the year fun.) I think most can agree it was an interesting year where everyone had to give up a lot. But Hunter was the best one to handle the changes and let downs. He just expressed his disappointment and rolled with it. He squeezed out every bit of fun he could the last couple months and now he’s ready to move on and leave his three little brothers behind to rule the school.