Monday, September 21, 2015

Brian Leong's Best Week Ever!!...

This has been such an exciting week for Brian, my sweet and thoughtful little boy.

It all started on Monday when he came off the bus to discover that our new kitten was in the front seat of the car! Can't get better than that, right?
All week, he's been having fun getting to know Mia and taking very good care of her. 
Each week, Brian's teacher sends home a list of ten vocabulary words. The children need to come up with original sentences and make tally marks next to the word for each sentence they create. Then they need to add up all their tally marks. The two student who come up with the most sentences by the end of the week win prizes. All week we had so much fun with this. (I'm not sure who was more into it, to be honest!) Our goal was ten sentences for each word - and we did it! One hundred sentences in all!!

Friday came and I sent him off to school with little reminders - "Don't forget to write your spelling words in all lower case!" "Remember - it's a-n-t!" "And don't forget who you are. Wait, who are you?" I joked.

Friday afternoon as his bus pulled up to the corner, I could tell in two seconds that something was up. He came bounding across the street to me - breathless. And out it all came...

"Mommy!! Look at my crown! I am "student of the week" for being the best boy!! And I won the vocabulary words contest! My prize was this cool calendar that has all these activities for each month and I can't wait to do them with you! And my friend Jake gave me this awesome star ring! And I'm SURE that I got a hundred on my spelling test," he practically shouted at me!

"That is SO great, buddy!! I'm so excited - about ALL of it!!" I told him.

"All I need to do is get a goal in soccer and this will be the BEST WEEK EVER!" he added.

The next day, at his third soccer game, he got a goal. We decided the rest of the weekend should be a big celebration.

We baked brownies - and ate too many, as if that's a thing. We played a crazy game of "tag" as a family which I'm still recovering from. Saturday afternoon we went to a local farm and Brian made a new friend in a beautiful horse who seemed to gravitate to him. 
We also stopped by an old school house from the 1800s that we have driven by at least one million times since Brian was born. 
We always said we would stop by when it was open for a tour on the weekends and never did... until this weekend! It took all of five minutes to view this one room schoolhouse - but it was fun!
We ended Saturday attending something called "The Abbeyfest" at the Daylesford Abbey near our home and Brian experienced his first concert!! I listen to a station called "The Message" on Sirius/XM pretty much all day in the kitchen. It's contemporary Christian music and I've loved it since I was young. Brian knows many of the songs and we often sing and dance to them in the kitchen together. Seeing the person who sings the songs that come out of the iPad in our kitchen actually sing them live - it was quite a trip for Brian. 
We saw Matt Maher and he was great!! 
Brian's friend from school, William, was there with his Dad and we all hung out on the lawn together for the concert. At one point, the entire lawn was lit up as people held candles.

 It was a magical night under the stars. Even Hope got into the spirit with some spontaneous dancing!!

Sunday afternoon found us in our old neighborhood for the annual block party. It was so fun to see our wonderful neighbors - and Brian was happy to run and play with his good friend, Daniel. It was the perfect way to end the best week ever.

 Tonight, going to bed, he asked for a story and chose the book "Remembering Gavin" that one of his teachers made for him after Gavin died. We've read it a hundred times. But tonight, when I got to the end of the book, Brian fell into sobs. So many feelings... so many fears... so much grief for one little heart. 

Every night, Brian asks me to tell him a story from when I was little. Tonight I suggested that I start telling him stories from when he and Gavin were little... and through his sniffles, he said he liked that idea. 

Was it a terrible ending to the "Best Week Ever?" I don't think so. If Brian truly remembers "who he is" - "a Leong" - he'll know that it's possible to balance grief and joy. That "letting it all out" with a good cry or throwing boxes in the garage or talking to your Mom and Dad about your fears and sadness is healthy. If he remembers who he is - then he will also remember who I am... the Mommy who will always be honest with him, always be there to listen or sit in silence or give him a pep talk. 

It is not easy to bear witness to a child's grief. But boy, is it an honor. And it is an honor to be Brian's Mom. I love this sweet child with all of my heart.

Someday I aspire to be "Student of the Week" - because he sure is one of my greatest teachers.


  1. I read your blog regularly but have never commented. You are such a great mother! Keep up the great work and Brian (and Hope) will be the best little people they can be. It is so hard to watch your children hurt....but to watch them mourn - I can't even imagine!

  2. Wow! I love reading your blog you are doing a amazing job. I'm glad Brian had the best week . Have a great week this week as well. Glad Brian can show his emotions. Hope is a sweetheart too. Love reading about your family.

  3. Wow! Well done Brian, I'm so proud of him. He's also an excellent teacher to me. I lost my sister 12 years ago, seeing and hearing about how he handles losing Gavin, is a huge eye opener for me, and has made me realise that in bottling everything up is wrong. Truth be told I'm a bit (A LOT) scared of grieving. Brian's way is so much better. Also I told my girls (16 next month & 12) about how great Brian is at getting himself ready for school m, so now they are too (FINALLY!!) well done Brian, you really are the best boy!!! xo

  4. Love your honesty with him. I have a sister-in-law who never wanted their children to feel pain. They now have a 30 year old daughter who cannot handle her old life without her mom talking her through any difficulties.

  5. This is such a sweet post. .. Thank you for sharing it with us! :)


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