Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

School Begins

Today was one of those days that make you shake your head in amazement. Not only was it Ben's first day of the new school year, but it was his first day of third grade! This means that he is only one month away from being a 9-year old third grader. If you're a parent, whether of children younger or older, you well know that odd feeling that you must have fallen asleep at some point a missed a year or two of your child's life. Ben is a great mix of playful and smart, creative and task oriented, social and independent. Each year he becomes even more fun to be around.

We shared a nice family morning, took a few pictures, and then walked with him to school. Lori and Ben were able to have a lovely afternoon, including a showing of That Darn Cat and a plate of cookies for celebration.

Those who know me, particularly family, will be pleased to know that I am now suffering the consequences of my many years of short, non-descript answers to open-ended questions. I laughed as Ben gave his third straight "good" or "o.k." to my evening inquisition. I can't believe he already shares three of my worst conversation habits, without any formal training. First, he prefers to initiate any storytelling. Second, he has to be in the right mood or frame of mind. Third, he hates to tell a story more than once. If these three criteria are met, the boy can talk for 30 minutes with great enthusiasm. If not, you're likely to be disappointed. How fitting of God to reveal my faults by placing a mirror image of myself in front of me!

The good news is that Ben had a great day and is already very happy with his new teacher. We can't wait to see what this year will bring!