Lillia: This week you started school as a seventh-grader! This seems impossible—wasn’t I just a seventh-grader? The transition back to school has been a bit rough for you, in large part because you are desperately missing your pen pal / Skype pal / best friend, Jessica, who lives in England. You guys chatted almost every day this summer, and now it’s much harder to catch up—that five-hour time difference is a real bummer. However, you’re already head-down in your studies and finished almost all of your homework for the week last night. The next two years may be hard, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that middle-schoolers are fickle and mean. I will do everything I can to support you and help you get through it. I think you’ll be okay as long as you remember that you are a spectacularly unique human being with more talent in your little finger than most people can amass in a lifetime. Don’t let the petty stuff derail you.
Zane: This week you started kindergarten! Wow, what a milestone! I’ve already waxed philosophical about the transition (twice), so I won’t belabor the point any more here. You had a great drop-off on your first day, and in the afternoon at pick-up you came bouncing up the hill with a big grin on your face, looking every part the kindergartener. You said you LOVED kindergarten, especially the “soccer court” and learning new things. You said you even made a new friend named Wyatt. And, you’re really excited about the possibility of collecting pom-poms for good behavior (there is, apparently, a treasure chest to dig through once your bucket is full of pom-poms). For the first time this week, I feel a little lighter. If you are happy, then I am happy.