Every year before school begins, we take the kids, actually it has always been Michaela for a back to school dinner of her choice. This year, seeing as though Spencer is starting school he was included in the mix. They chose Olive Garden and off we went. This has also been the time when we give Michaela a James Avery charm to represent something about her life that year. In Kindergarten she received the charm bracelet. In 1st grade, a backpack. This had a dual meaning - she was starting the "real" grades as well as it representing her love of everything detective. She would routinely pack a backpack of detective and spy stuff. I think it was one too many movies about the "Olsen and Olsen Mystery Agency." 2nd grade was a charm of a glove and ball as she tried Softball for the first time and was very good. 3rd grade was a heart - she had figured some things out about how to deal with friends through 2nd grade and is a good friend. 4th grade was a musical note because she was singing with the Amarillo Girls Choir, aswell as progressing with her piano lessons. This year, for 5th grade it was a megaphone charm. For two reasons - she has just completed a musical where she played part of a spirit team and the theme was around a University campus. And she has done a few art projects at a ceramics store that had megaphones on it. I like the idea that a megaphone is used to send a message very loudly - I pray that the megaphone also sends a message that she is a child of God and you can see the message by the way she treats people and lives.
Well, now the plan had to be tweaked a little because Spencer did not need or want a charm bracelet. So, what to get a boy? We decided on the a brown leather chord from James Avery and a little cross pendant. That way, if he get a little nervous at school, he has a visual reminder that Jesus is with him. And he seems to be getting a little nervous already. I look forward to the many pendants that we hope to have hang around his neck in the coming years...something to represent prayer, fun, friends, growth.
Most of all, we pray that our kids understand when they are grown that the intent was to mark the events of their lives, not the gifts themselves. Celebrations are such an important part of the rythym of life to us.