The emotions of the first day of school usually get the best of me, but it was a little different this year.
Nope, I didn’t need sunglasses to walk out of either school after dropping our sons off this year. That’s a good thing because my latest pair has been missing for about a week. I’m sure a child has something to do with it, but nobody has owned up to it yet.
My feelings on this particular day had more to do with being hopeful the kids had good days and were off to auspicious starts to their school years after a summer of fun.
Photos of the first day are a must for us like most families. These are memories we will cherish down the road. Therefore, we always take the time to do it.
For the annual front stoop shot, Pam made some cool chalkboards that we can use every year, or at least until the kids stop allowing us to document this sort of thing.
Beckett’s sign read, “1st day of 3rd grade. I am 8 years old. I want to be a soccer star, pro skateboarder and pro BMX rider when I grow up.” That’s a great snapshot in time, particularly since you can see his scraped and bruised knees from those current hobbies.
Carson’s sign read, “1st day of 1st grade. I am 6 years old. I want to be a doctor when I grow up.”
Orthopedic doctor might be a good choice given his brother’s planned professions when he’s older.
It was an uneventful first day for both boys and that was just fine with us.
Although they don’t always get along, there are signs that my boys most certainly look out for each other.
For the most part, Beckett and Carson get along pretty well, but there are multiple daily skirmishes that usually entail parental intervention. Carson knows what bothers Beckett and vice versa, and they oftentimes push each other’s buttons to elicit responses. It can be annoying and frustrating, but it’s a fact of life these days. That’s why the kind gestures are so treasured.
Carson displays random acts of kindness to Beckett fairly often. For instance, it’s common for Carson to share a snack or drink with Beckett or go out of his way to help his big brother out by running upstairs and getting him a pair of socks he dropped coming downstairs.
However, as is typical with the ups and downs of parenting, it’s not unusual for Carson to also throw a soccer ball Beckett is playing with at any given time over our backyard fence just to agitate him or to push him in the pool from behind against his will.
While Beckett’s kind gestures are more few and far between, he made me proud at Funcade on the Boardwalk last weekend.
The boys had gone their separate ways with different family members and were busy accumulating their tickets. When all was said and done, Beckett decided he wanted to save his tickets for a future purchase. That’s been his style for several years now.
Consistent with his approach of recent years as well, Carson opted to buy something. Rather than exchange his tickets for a ball or a stuffed animal, Carson used his goods in exchange for a wooden lighthouse collectible. Of all the things he could have chosen, it was great to see that he eyed that item.
However, before he made his decision, it was clear Carson was struggling to make up his mind. He was torn between a truck and the handmade wooden collectible piece. When he couldn’t get both, he was bothered a bit, but seemed to accept it when he received his lighthouse keepsake, which just happened to be wrapped in this very newspaper.
Beckett, who didn’t appear to be paying attention, picked up on his little brother’s disappointment and wanted to use his remaining coins to try and reach the 400-ticket mark to get Carson the truck. He fell short by about 180 and asked for more money. It was an easy call for me since I knew what his intentions were.
Within minutes, he had surpassed the amount and then some. We were headed back to the beach to give Carson the truck. It was obvious he was proud of this selfless act because he couldn’t wait to present it to him. Beckett handed it over, surprising him and Carson bear hugged him. That was a proud moment for us.
Beckett has a huge, caring heart and has tremendous sentimentality, but it’s not always immediately noticeable. It’s nice when these kinds of reminders take place, especially when it involves his little brother. It makes me feel like we must be doing something right as parents.
Later, I told him about a board his new teacher has in her room called, “Caught With Character.” I let him know that kind of act represents good character. He then informed me he was going to “own that board by week’s end” by his actions. He continued to explain how that was going to take place in a fashion that was a bit over the top.
Within minutes, those feelings of pride slowly started to fade away.