Tag Archives: Freight Train

Graduation Day

graduation dj

This afternoon, DJ graduates from high-school!

How did that happen?  This really makes college seem real. Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep. My mind is racing, my heart is pounding. I can remember the day he was born as if it was yesterday and now…. Graduation?!?!

When DJ started school with Mrs. Lerner, one of the most amazing kindergarten teachers I have ever met, I never expected that this day would come so quickly! He walked into that kindergarten classroom with a backpack bigger than him, giving me a nervous little wave before heading into the room. I thought that was a difficult day! What was I thinking!!??

When people tell you “it goes so fast….” they aren’t kidding! Time flew! Thirteen years of school over in the blink of an eye.  Where are those days when he’d sit curled up on my lap reading his favorite book, Freight Train, by Donald Crews, over and over again. We read that book so many times, I can still recite that book word for word!

I am going through a range of emotions.  The last few months have been building up to this. Awards ceremonies, scholarships, so many events telling us this day was upon us! I  know that he has grown into an intelligent, capable, talented person, I am having trouble writing the words, “young man,” but that is what he is. An eighteen year adult!  He’s isn’t a kid anymore! Will my little boy be able to manage without us there to guide him everyday?

All of his “firsts” have happened with us along side of him. First words, first steps, first day of school, getting his driver’s license… the list goes on and on.  Now all of those firsts are going to be experienced without us there. Is he ready? Are we?

Of course he is. He has proven that to us this year, becoming more and more independent. He is ready to move on. Ready for the next chapter of his life. I am so proud of him and I know that he is going to find even more independence when he is on his own.

We can’t predict the future and what it holds for our children. I can only hope that he is happy, does his best, makes a difference, and winds up doing what he loves.

To all of my friends who have children graduating today, congratulations! They are ready. I think we have done a pretty good job! ❤

Read Aloud

read aloud

I am not sure when I stopped reading aloud to my boys.  Read aloud is my favorite part of the day at school. I read to my class every single day taking pride in the fact that those children are enraptured by my voice, my intonation and inflection when I read.  There are times when a day seem to be spiraling out of control.  When that happens, I grab a book and start reading.  No matter where the kids are in the room, they gather.  They listen, they calm, they relax.  They are focused on the story, focused on me.  I have reeled them back in!

I read to my boys every night when they were little.  Each of them had their favorite book that we read over and over again.  For DJ, it was Freight Train by Donald Crews.  I can still recite it from memory we read it so many times! For Drew it was Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems.  It is still a favorite of mine to read to my Kindergarteners. Drew says he can still remember me bringing Knuffle Bunny Two to his Kindergarten Class the time I went in to surprise him for his birthday.

As my boys became readers themselves, we had a deal that for every book they read to me, I’d read one to them.  It worked for the longest time.  I don’t know when it stopped. I guess it just sort of slipped away, out of our nightly routine…we don’t even have a routine anymore.

Over the last few days, Drew and I have brought back the nightly tradition though and I realized just how much I missed it.  Drew has always been a struggling reader and when he was given an assignment to read, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, it actually brought him to his breaking point.  Last week, he had a complete meltdown while trying to read it.  He fell apart calling himself dumb and getting so frustrated that he couldn’t pull himself together.  My “teacher diagnosis” is that he can decode and he can comprehend, he just cannot do it at the same time.  When I was finally able to calm him down, I asked him if I could try to read him a chapter.  He let me, and we wound up reading the few chapters that were assigned for school.  I had never read the book so I had no prior knowledge of the beginning of the book and he was at chapter five.  He filled me in as we went along and I asked him questions throughout the chapters to see if he was comprehending it and he was.  The next night, he asked me if we could read together again.  Tonight will be our fourth night reading together and it has brought back his joy of reading again.

I know that I can’t read to him forever and I have already contacted his school and gotten him some audio services to help him follow along as he listens to the assigned books.  For now though…I will take advantage of these precious nights that he wants to read with me.  They probably won’t last much longer!