Friday, September 5, 2008


First day of school: September 4, 2008. Declan (3rd grade) and Finn (kindergarten).

I was working on a very different post about the boys' first day of school. A friend asked me if I was sad about Finn's first day of kindergarten yesterday. And I guess I did have some little pangs because he seems like he might be in a little bit of shock--and possibly a little annoyed, too--that suddenly that he has to go to school all day every day for a very long time. Glad it's not me!

But seriously, when I think about it, I'm not sad about Finn going to school as much as I am grateful. I'm grateful that he's here to go to school at all. I don't care what kind of cancer a kid has--a kind with a 85% survival rate or a kind with a 10% survival rate--as a parent, you don't want any statistic hanging over your head that says your child might not live to go to kindergarten. Or drive a car. Or go to their senior prom. Or college. Or whatever. The innocent "everything is right with the world" security that I had before Finn's diagnosis is likely gone forever, but there's always hope. And I think that's what I felt today when Finn walked through the doors of kindergarten. Hopeful that this is the start of yet another chapter of a long and happy life for Finn.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and tonight is Stand Up to Cancer. It's airing at 8 p.m. eastern time for 60 minutes. Check out the preview on NBC's Web site.

Stand Up to Cancer Preview

It gave me a few chills. And then I watched this and shed a few tears.


My point here is that in these last few weeks of watching all sorts of partisan politics on TV and being alternately enthusiastic, confused and annoyed, I am reminded that cancer knows no age boundaries, has no religious or political affiliation, and doesn't care if you're black, white, purple or green. We all need to Stand Up to Cancer regardless of where else we agree or disagree in life. Watch Stand Up to Cancer and feel grateful and hopeful. That's my plan.

Finn--ready to go.

Declan--wishing he had his sunglasses.

Declan with his new teacher. I thought I'd give her some anonymity on the Web by not printing her name, but that's all out the window because of the sign. I have no idea how to black that out. Sorry, Mrs. T.

Waiting in line.

Declan meets up with a buddy.

Walking in.

Listening to instructions.

Discovering his good buddies, and twins, Dillon and Jayden are in his class--priceless.

Sneaking up to Declan's classroom to spy on him.

Yep, I'll take grateful over sad any day.


Lynn's mom said...

Hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray, HOORAY, H O O R A Y!!

in a world surrounded by men said...

I'm with you on that one. You have a HUGE reason to be thankful.

Mountain Mama said...

Another day to celebrate!! Keep 'em coming.

1dreamr said...

Awesome! :-)

Melissa Parsons robertsmm@hotmail.com said...

Natalie -
I somehow stopped reading Finn's care page. I think once I knew he was done with chemo, I didn't have to worry about him any more... But I am so glad you commented on Emma's page, because now I can read your hilarious posts on blogger!
Glad to hear everyone is doing so well. Can't believe how grown up Finn has gotten... Unbelieveable!
Congratulations on the year anniversary, and for having one of the Jonas brothers talk to you!
Take Care!
Melissa Parsons