Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Audrey (part five)

Audrey's fifth grade school picture, taken in September 2001

After we left our home in Banja Luka and returned to the U. S., we lived with your Mimi and Papa for the summer. Only a couple of days after we arrived in the States, you turned 10. During that summer, we brought you home another sister - Beth!

You loved your new sister and helped us take good care of her, as you had with Courtney.

You also began attending a new church. A strange, different church unlike any other you had attended, with incense, chanting, icons, and vestments. You and your two sisters always looked beautiful in your church dresses.
That year you dressed up as a leopard for Halloween. Pretty ferocious...
You had attended 8 different schools from Kindergarten to Fourth Grade. Now for your fifth grade year, you started at your ninth. But now you settled into a normal life of a typical American kid. No more adventures -- at least not minor ones. Your fifth grade year went quickly, and you soon celebrated your eleventh birthday.

We often visited your Mimi and Papa those first couple of years that we were back in the U. S.

I'll never forget the "Country" stage you went through. You listened to nothing but country music, joined the FFA, and got a cowboy hat and boots for Christmas of '02.

If I remember correctly, your "Country" phase lasted only about a year...maybe less.

Time seemed to accelerate when you got into junior high. Before I knew it, you were turning 13!

Soon you started eighth grade. I think this is one of the last times you went to school without makeup.

I tried to get you to stop aging and growing. I wanted you to stay sweet and little. But in spite of my best efforts to the contrary, you turned 13!

You always looked great in your Orchestra uniform.

Your next stop? High school! But oops! I forgot to remind you how your life changed dramatically again toward the end of your eighth grade year. Let's talk about that next time.

1 comment:

charlene said...

Father James,
This is such a beautiful series. Keep writing. We had our first baby when I was 22 also. (Bob was almost 25!) In reading this tribute to Audrey, many fond memories have come flooding back to me about my own parenting at a young age. Thank you for your generous sharing.