I've never been one of those mothers who abhors her child's growth. You know, the moms who cry: "Oh, I can't believe my baby can sit up already! She doesn't need me anymore! Soon she'll be going to college!" I've always celebrated J's achievements and growth, and his growing independence and abilities. True, part of it is selfish. As he grows, I get some of my independence back. But overall, I really enjoy seeing him become the interesting, capable person that he is becoming.
Last night, I had an opportunity to go to a meeting at school for the incoming 4th graders. [At J's school, the kids move from the lower school building (K-3) to the upper school building (4-8) , and start in the "intermediate division" which is 4th and 5th grade, after which they will enter the middle school program in grades 6-8.] I really liked what I heard! I am very excited about 4th grade!
The director of the intermediate division is a man who seems to really love kids of this age. I was so impressed with him. In addition to the academics, which sound wonderful as usual, the kids have the opportunity to take part in student government on a rotating basis, can choose to be in the 4-5th grade choir, and can take part in various bands. The daily schedule still includes a nice break for snack and recess (so important to boys of this age!) and I was happy to hear that many of the specialists are male (PE, science, music, and the on-campus Rabbi). J really benefits from male role models, and now he will get them!
Mostly, I am just excited for J. He is definitely ready to leave the lower school, having been there an extra year (he repeated kindergarten - long story). He is now one of the oldest and one of the tallest kids in the lower school, and he just seems ready to go. Step Up Day is on June 11th, and then...off he goes!