Sunday, February 19, 2012

Exponential Growth

Elliot is growing up.  Exponentially.  This weekend we celebrated his outstanding achievement of earning a 100% in Math.  We use an online program called IXL.  This program has been a fantastic part of Elliot's school day. Often times, I hear him being extremely vocal, making irritating noises while struggling to answer problems.  I know he was challenged greatly, but he never gave up.  Since we started this fall, he would spend an hour or more each weekday solving problems and learning new concepts.  Those hours added up to a great body of work:

So we made a big deal out of it.  We put his 100% award in a frame to keep in his room and took him out to the movies.  We saw Star Wars Episode I in 3D.

Earlier in the day, I sent text messages to our family members asking them to call Elliot.  Later in the evening, he was rewarded with a long call from his big sister Emily and a Skype call from Uncle Roger.

It's not easy for me to acknowledge that my little son is quickly turning into a big kid.

But it's true.

And I can't stop time.

But it's okay.  Richard and I are enjoying the freedom to do more things as a family that we might have avoided when he was little.  Like Kayaking, hiking bigger mountains, or ordinary things like preparing a meal in the kitchen together.

So as the sun keeps returning to the sky, brighter days are waking up the Earth, releasing the first scents of spring.  Bird song is returning to the trees.  A new season of growth is beginning.

And the house next door sits empty, as a man who is our dear friend needs lots of nursing care.

I sit here at my post and can't help noticing that time is passing.  This February marks my tenth year in North Carolina.

I have been here ten years, and so much has changed.  I have changed.  I look back on age 30 and think of myself then as an adolescent.  Ten years and I've aged internally, externally and spiritually.

It's hard for me to sit here and think that maybe I'll be sitting here still, ten years into the future, with the pictures of nature looking the same (as leaves, grass and flowers get to be renewed every year) but the people looking older.  I wonder if I'll look back and ask myself why I felt the need to document it.

Maybe there were insights that arose from the writing that changed everything.

Maybe there were pictures that helped me to feel the importance of savoring moments.

Maybe (most assuredly) there were friends who stopped by to make the journey brighter.


  1. Hi Jennifer, that is great news you must be so proud of Elliot!!! ^_^
    Beautiful photos you're sharing, and it IS getting much brighter in the evenings now. It's great ^_^
    Have a fantastic Sunday!


  2. Jenny, what a beautiful mind you have. The world needs more like you. I congratulate Elliot on his mathletic achievements and I salute you for being a major influence in his life.

  3. congratulations to elliot! that is quite the achievement!!!

    what beautiful thoughts and pictures you're sharing with us. the need to document is ok - it will preserve a record for in the future (you can have your blog turned into a book; i did for isaiah's - blog2print) and give us (the writers) an opportunity to look and and reflect on things. very cool.

    hugs to you...

  4. Love the photos and Elliot is growing so fast but children do one day they are babies the next it seems they are having babies...........well it feels like that for me my baby is 22 now and it really only seems like yesterday she was a baby........

  5. Oh, what a WONDERFUL achievement for Elliot! That takes gutsy perseverance and a lot of brainpower, both of which he has in abundance. Please tell him congratulations!

    I love what you wrote about the passing time. It really made me think. I'm learning more and more to enjoy the richness of the harvest each passing year brings. So many past things to savor and so many new things to anticipate.

  6. Hi Shelly, Welcome back! Everyone has missed you:)

  7. Well done on the maths achievement!
    My son also uses IXL which was initiated by his school.
    Nifty little programme!

    Our kids grow up way too fast. I for one am trying to keep mine as "kids" for longer.
    I know once the teenage stages arrive they enjoy spending time with their friends more than they do with us.


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