Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Steven with his certificate of promotion.

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
You're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
You'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
You'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
In the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
And frequently do
To people as brainy
And footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
Don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
Who soar to high heights.

Steven's last day of school, the kids went around the room and shared what was most memorable about sixth grade.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
But, sadly, it's true
And Hang-ups
Can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
In a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
With an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
That you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
You're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
Is not easily done.

You will come to a place
Where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.
But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain
Both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?
Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose?
How much can you win?

Filing in for the ceremony

And IF you go in,
Should you turn left or right...
Or right-and-three-quarters?
Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back
And sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not,
I'm afraid you will find,
For a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
That you'll start in to race
Down long wiggled roads
At a break-necking pace
And grind on for miles
Across weirdish wild space,
Headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go
Or a bus to come, or a plane to go
Or the mail to come, or the rain to go
Or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
Or waiting around for a Yes or a No
Or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
Or waiting for wind to fly a kite
Or waiting around for Friday night
Or waiting, perhaps, for Uncle Jake
Or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
Or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
Or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
All that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
Where Boom Bands are playing.

After the promotion

With banner flip-flapping,
Once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go!
There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.
There are games to be won.
And the magical things
You can do with that ball
Will make you the winning-est
Winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous
As famous can be,
With the whole wide world watching
You win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

Steven with his sixth grade homeroom teachers

I'm afraid that sometimes
You'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'Cause you'll play against you.

All Alone! Whether
You like it or not,
Alone will be something
You'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone,
There's a very good chance
You'll meet things that scare you
Right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road
Between hither and yon,
That can scare you so much
You won't want to go on.

Filing out of the ceremony

But on you will go
Though the weather be foul
On you will go
Though your enemies prowl
On you will go
Though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
A frightening creek,
Though your arms may get sore
And your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
And I know you'll hike far
And face up to your problems
Whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
As you already know.
You'll get mixed up
With many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
And remember that Life's
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget
To be dexterous and deft. And never mix up
Your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

Steven with my parents


Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
Or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

- Dr. Seuss

Steven finished elementary school on Thursday June 14. There was a promotion ceremony for all the sixth graders.

I don't have his report card, but he tested into Honors English and Honors Pre Algebra. I can barely put into words how terribly proud we are of him.

Honestly I can say that I never took for granted that we would get to this day. I remember driving home from Memphis at the end of his treatment and worrying about his return to school.

That fourth grade year when he was trying to get back into the swing of things after radiation, four stem cell transplants and missing a year of school was horrendous. More than once I questioned, given his uncertain future, whether the effort of keeping him in school was worth it.

We are not given foresight, only hindsight, and in hindsight I feel we did right by him with respect to school.

In late August he moves on to middle school. The middle school he will be attending is for 7th and 8th grade only, there are 1500 students. His elementary school is approximately 700 students. Every time I go to over to that school I worry, I feel like it's a big mouth just waiting to swallow him up. I've heard stories about the teasing and bullying that goes on there with some of the kids and I worry that he'll most definitely be a target.

When I think of him heading off to middle school, I feel like it says in the poem:

You will come to a place
where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.
But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain
both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?
Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose?
How much can you win?

But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Steven, we love you. You go.

- Kathleen



Blogger Vickie said...

Congratulations---what a special day that was. Thank you for sharing the pictures and your special thoughts with us.

I know you have had many fears and others will come but Kathy are one that inspires me often. The way you have dealt with this and grown stronger reminds me that the things I face will give me strength.

Thank you for always sharing as you do here but most of all I thank you for the extra support you have given me many times. I know I have not taken the time I should to let you know just how much this has meant to me but I do want to say Thank You now.

Continued best wishes to Steven.

June 23, 2007 5:45 PM  

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