At the end of 6th grade, Jack's class had dinner at the Olive Garden. The highlight of the evening came when the parents read a "charge" they had written for their child. Tim and I took turns reading ours to Jack as we stood in front of the group, each with a hand on Jack's shoulder. We got choked up, of course. There's a lot of inside information in it, that only Jack's classmates will understand, but Tim suggested you might like to read it anyway, especially since our friend wrote that beautiful poem, Rara Avis, for us a few weeks ago:
"Jack, we remember the day we dropped you off in 1st grade, a shy 6 year old kid coming to a brand-new school. Even though you were sad to leave your other school, you grew to love DCS.
Each year we would say you could stay as long as the school didn’t move. I wonder if the main reason DCS never found a new location was the strength of one boy’s prayers.
From day one, you excelled at your schoolwork, teaching us more than a thing or two along the way.
You particularly enjoyed the chance to be creative with special projects. If they could incorporate legos, drawing, or acting, even better.
Some highlights included:
The Vine Snake
The Hill of Difficulty
The Hobbit Map and Paper
And of course, playing Edmund and Macbeth.
Non-academic highlights included:
Cricket races on the playground
Challenging your classmates to “The Game” in which they had to travel the world to figure out where something was hidden
AND developing a private language between you and your classmates.
Hello? Who is Stebe?
You grew a lot during these years, dealing well with personal challenges. When we think about you, Jack, we realize you are one of the strongest people we know.
God has given you gifts, academically, spiritually and creatively.
We pray, as you go forward into middle school, that you will strive for excellence, not because God wants you to be perfect, but because He wants the BEST LIFE FOR YOU and wants you to use your gifts for His work.
That includes putting in full effort, and respecting your teachers, your fellow students and yourself enough to make great choices.
God wants people to see there are many facets to you—not just an entertaining guy—but also someone who is bright, someone who stands up for what he believes in, someone who OVERCOMES obstacles, and someone who has a heart for God and people.
We hope you will continue to share with us what is going on in your life, and if we don’t understand at first, that you won’t give up.
It reminds me of the cardinals we witnessed hatch and fly away this week. Their parents were with them every bit of the way, protecting them, providing for them, and encouraging them. This is what we want to do for you.
As the fledglings found their wings and flew away, you said, “They just grow up so fast.”
Jack, parenting you is an honor and a privilege, and we know the day is coming soon when you’ll be flying on your own.
When things get hard, and they will, please remember:
Nothing is impossible with God.
We are proud of you, Jack, and we love you very much."