Fourteen. It has been a big year. Many changes have passed and many changes are coming. The lesson Jake will have this year is one of learning to accept that change doesn't have to be a bad thing. Jake is not big on change. I can understand that. We, as a family, have been through so many changes in his short life. Most of them have been difficult. It would be easy to think that with change comes pain. But with change can come joy as well.
I hope Jake sees that he already has coped well with changes this past year and will be confident in the coming year. This year Jake changed middle schools, and while he didn't really want to do it, he did it with a good attitude. This change caused some bumps in his academic career, but the thing that make me proud of him is that the second half of the year he really made an effort to take responsibility for his education. He was proud of himself for taking control of his own achievements and improvements in those achievements.
In changing schools, he had to play with a new school band. Music, I think, is Jake's greatest area of confidence. It helps him transition and gives him an instant group of friends. He is good at the trumpet (and guitar) and has great things ahead in music. Even with his new school, he achieved a lot at competitions and performances. I love to watch him play and see him improve every year. I am proud for him that he has a great trumpet teacher and a great role model in Mr. Evans. If Jake takes advantage of everything Mr. Evans offers, he will be a better person for it.
This year we are moving. Jake is back and forth on his feelings about it. I know that his talent in the band will help him transition. He will have friends and a place at his new school. Our new family with help him transition as well. They are all actively trying to make sure he and his brothers feel comfortable and included. I know that it won't be easy and I will promise to help him keep in contact with his friends in Pensacola while getting him involved in his new life.
Jake will do better than he thinks with all of these changes. He is smart, talented and people love him. As long as he remembers that, he will have many friends and be happy. He has much to look forward to this year.
Accomplishment of note this year: He is finally taller than me. And has no problem lording it over me daily.
Something I dread for next year: A driver's permit.
Happy 14th Birthday, Jake!