thanks to the tribes.

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Maybe I’ve been dreading 8th grade promotion since the realization of having an actual 8th grader?  Is “dread” too strong of a word?

Yes.  It is too strong.  Because there can’t be any dread when you see happy written all over this face.

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There is just something about being real.  Real smiles.  Real joy.  Real excitement. Real love.  It was better than I could have expected.  And from listening to the other parents, they felt it too.  An unending happy is just where Natalie was at here this week during her last days and hours as an 8th grader.  A celebration and looking forward to the next four years of high school and all the excitement that has to offer.  I am looking forward to it!  There comes a time and these kids are just ready.  Did you hear that?!  I am looking forward to my girl being in high school…

IMG_1009I haven’t been bleeding “orange” (ORANGE CONFERENCE!!!) here for awhile, but when I began looking at all of these pictures from Natalie’s celebration, all I could think of was the word TRIBE.  By definition, TRIBE is simply a group of people connected by something in common—be it ancestry, ideas, experiences, politics, theology, sports, etc.  In Reggie Joiner’s book Playing for Keeps he says this about the importance of Tribes in a child’s life…

Basically, PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE. 

Everybody needs a circle.

And every kid needs a TRIBE.

The very first TRIBE I immediately noticed was that of the teachers and administrators as they walked in and took their seats on the floor.  That may have been when I first got the “lump”–you know what I’m talking about.  And I thought, oh my goodness, this is going to be really bad.  And I turned to my friend and begged for a kleenex.  Having grown up in the same school as my kids, many of the teachers were part of my TRIBE as well.  Unless you have experienced this, it is hard to truly explain how cool that really is.  A TRIBE that keeps giving and circling.  Teachers, coaches, and administrators that obviously love kids and what they do.  That is amazing.  And scattered throughout the audience were elementary school teachers and a piano teacher who greatly impacted many of these kids as well.

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A TRIBE of friends.  And lucky to have some that are family AND friends.  Wish I had a picture uploaded of Nat with her cousins Brooke and Elle as babies and toddlers.  These girls have been together ever since Nat joined this world.  It does not get better than to raise your kids with your family—especially when they love each other like these girls do.

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The “shoe” TRIBE.  Notice which ones she chose?

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The family TRIBEa huge influence on this girl.  We have family even in our back yard!!  Literally.  Family, friends, church, youth leader, neighbors.  You name it.  There is a TRIBE for it.  If you are reading this, a huge THANK YOU for being part of the TRIBE. 

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