Today my first baby becomes a middle-schooler.
They will have a little to do at school this afternoon, followed by a reception and then a pool party(if the thunderstorms hold off). It is not really a graduation, but what they have been calling a “moving on ceremony”. I love that title. I think it is such an accurate reflection of what is happening with Kjell right now.
Kjell is moving on:
from the little boy he was to the beginning of the man he will become. It is just the start of the process that will take a lifetime to complete, but we can already see the changes in him. In just the last few weeks he has begun to lose that little bit of softness his body was holding onto. His legs and arms and stomach are all starting to show definition, his face is less round. And that is just what it looks like on the outside.
The love and caring he displays for his siblings is wonderful. If Sunny isn’t awake when he leaves for school in the morning, he gives me 2 hugs and 2 kisses, and reminds me to pass them onto her when she rises. And for Broder, oh, that relationship is fun. Kjell works to make sure his friends include Broder in their play and conversations. It is a package deal. And Kjell never seems to resent that.
How he is handling this move is very different than just 2 years ago when we moved to Madison. He is calmer, more in control of his emotions, more concerned about how the news will affect his friends than just about his hurt. When he gets angry these days, he is much mroe likely to walk away, think about it, and then come back and discuss how he feels, rather than yell or stomp off in a huff. (I wish I could learn this skill).
His faith is strong and his knowledge of the Bible is incredible for a kid. He has probably read the Bible through more often than most adults, and he really thinks about it. Just last night, our dear friends, the Stanley-Ericksons, who also happen to be the pastors of the church we attend, were over. We had asked them to talk to the boys about Communion. We have left the decision on when to begin taking Communion up to the kids, and a few months ago had asked Kjell if he felt he was ready. His response was that he wanted to talk to Cathy and Jim, so he was sure he really knew what it meant, he did not want to take Communion just because everyone else did without knowing why and what is signified. So last night we talked about it, it was a group discussion, and it is clear that Kjell understands the sacrament and it’s importance. And he has made his decision, next time there is Communion at church, he will take part.
Kjell has grown from a sweet baby, through to a shy little kid, and now to a confident, thoughtful boy moving on towards teen-hood.