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New backpacks always bring hope.

First Day of School CollageLike the newness of backpacks each year, we begin the school year with a clean slate, a fresh start.

By all accounts, last year was incredible. Our daughter was a leader, a star student. She played basketball and was given an award for most improved where her coach, when presenting the award, cried because she was so proud. Our son played basketball and started golf and again, was most improved in golf. They did great in academics, made some friends and the wheels didn’t fall off like in previous years.

I can mark each year with something. I’m a huge follower of what I call . ¬†are a point of reference which I used to see how far we’ve come medically, socially, emotionally or educationally. In 2006 our son had a kidney transplant in March and in 2009 our daughter had her transplant in 2009, and now in 2014, we start a year of high school in 9th and a continuation of middle school 7th grade.

I hope at the end of the year I can say they made friends and had fun. I hope I can say they learned a lot and reached the goals they made on their IEPs (individual education plans) and they thought of new ones. I hope they feel good they tried some new things and found them challenging. Most of all I hope they feel confident.

Confidence goes a lot way and it’s something the kids struggle with in various ways. I think sometimes they forget their strengths and how far what come natural can help them succeed. Like their resiliency and tenacity and their humor and ability¬†to thrive in chaos. I hope they draw on the knowledge that the challenges they’ve faced in their young lives didn’t break them and have in fact, made them stronger. I hope all of the power they possess lead to feeling confident.

Here’s to the 2014-2015 school year.

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