Sunday, September 17, 2017

White Water Rafting with a New Crew

Well, things got crazy around here...

As many know, Pax's first grade experience was pretty awful. As as a result we spent many months researching, touring and learning about different schools. We would up on the waitlist for 9 different places and did not actually have a school until about a week and a half before school started on August 21st. Pax was accepted and admitted into a lovely place called Creativity Challenge Community (aka C3). Even though it wasn't our top choice, we were thrilled. It's a fantastic little school whose motto is "Kind Courageous Thinkers" (which really sounds a lot like Pax)

School started and all was going really, really well. We fell in love with Principal Julia Shepherd (who I still say is the absolute best principal I have ever seen) as well as his teaches and the rest of the faculty/staff. We met some nice families and some very lovely people. It was super slow going for Pax in the friend making department, but he was happy.

That all changed last Thursday afternoon. We got a call from the school that was number one on my list for Pax (it was #3 on Shawn's list, but that's a whole other story) Either way, it was one of all of our top choices. I won't go into any of the details, as several days were spent in discussion and tears and questioning and absolute turmoil. I think most of the tears came from me, but we all shed a few over this. Ultimately we let Pax make the final decision after spending a day feeling everything out. He chose the new school. On his own. He chose to make the switch. It was hard, but I have to say I think it was worth it. He is now at Rocky Mountain School for Expeditionary Learning (aka RMSEL)

The craziness got even crazier because Wednesday morning Pax and his new crew loaded up on a bus and headed out for a 2 night 3 day excursion to go white water rafting. I was not able to chaperone, so he was on his own for this big adventure. To be honest, I think that was for the best. He really got to find out how strong and brave he is. He got to discover new friends on his own and really connect with his new teacher and classmates. He was thrown into a trust situation and did it without hesitation. According to his teacher, he really pushed through challenges and met them head on. Mr David said Pax found his voice and used it to be a leader - which is really outside his comfort zone!
All the kids were expected to check their own gear, carry their own weight and set up their own tents. They were challenged to take individual night hikes - which Pax said was scary at first, but he "adjusted" and it wound up being really fun - and set up to find their own grit, determination and fortitude. My little man came back to me on Friday with a bit more strength in his spine and a smile the size of the Colorado River. The stories and retelling of his adventure solidified in my heart how much of a right decision this was. After this first experience, I am excited to see how much he grows this year!!

Seeing as I was unable to chaperone, I was also unable to take any pictures. No need to worry, as we gave Pax a camera of his own to document his expedition!!! These are the images he came back with. It seems Pax handed his little Pentax off to a new pal named Ronan for a few minutes, so here is a compilation of the adventure through their eyes. (Please note, Pax did not take the camera rafting as he was afraid he would loose it in the water. He didn't realize we gave him a waterproof camera with a floaty strap!)

Here's to growing and learning through doing and being!!!