A lot of Firsts

Paul Morrone |

By Paul Morrone, CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA

The past few weeks have been busy in the Morrone house. Back to school season is in full swing and has brought sweeping changes to whatever we can define as ‘normal’ with respect to our weekly schedule. It is also a season of ‘firsts’ for our kids as they embark on new endeavors as they continue to grow. Kyle, now in kindergarten, and Ryan, now in Pre-K 3, are enjoying the flexibility of being another year older. Overall, it has been a good change, and both boys transitioned exceedingly well to their new environment. They’ve also fully embraced the chaos that is day-to-day life, however, little do they that they are the cause of said chaos. In addition to managing school and bus schedules, the kids are now both in their own sports programs and continue to go through life’s many developmental milestones. 

The first day of school can be a huge source of stress for a parent, fortunately, ours went off without a hitch. Kyle jumped onto the bus with a smile and Ryan walked into his new classroom without fear. With Kyle’s transition into kindergarten, the planning of our days as parents has become infinitely more complex. While the regular school schedule helps the cause, each week requires careful coordination (thanks to Jill) as there is always an after-school event, sports practice, or early dismissal to plan around. This requires us to enlist the help of grandparents, neighbors and before school programs to make sure that someone always has a watchful eye over our children. Throw in Ryan’s daycare schedule and Jill and I have become glorified shuttle services. 

Speaking of shuttling kids, sports have added a different dimension to the weekly calendar now that Ryan has engaged in organized sports with a soccer skills camp on Saturday mornings. Being a bit more of a conservative personality than Kyle, we were curious as to whether Ryan would embrace the mayhem of 30 children and their parents running around the field with balls flying in every direction, not to mention having to listen to a coach and follow instructions. Much to our surprise, he was one of the few 3-year-olds to last the entire practice – and he enjoyed it! He’s excited for next week and quick to tell you that he kicked the ball and scored a goal. 

Kyle has a bit more experience with sports as he’s previously done a soccer skills camp, T-ball and is now playing flag football for the first time. He’s in a league with 5–6-year-olds and, as a young 5-year-old (his birthday was Sept. 6), he’s a head shorter than some of the older 6-year-olds. What he lacks in size he makes up for in speed. Although not much of that matters because the coaches are faced with the near impossible task of organizing an effective offense and defense on the football field when most kids have the attention span of a gnat. More to come on this front…

This past weekend we also experienced some other big ‘first’ milestones in our house. Kyle had his first trip to the emergency room – not normally a laughing matter but in this case everyone is OK. A trip-and-fall on the playground left him with a gash in his chin that required some stitching. He’ll be just fine, if he learns how to follow instructions. He was told to keep his chin dry for 24 hours, however, shortly after getting glued back together we found him jumping into the pool. Live and learn, I guess. 

Ryan has learned to test us in new ways as well. He recently graduated from his crib to a ‘big boy bed,’ which is a transition that Jill and I have been dreading for years. Kyle was nothing short of terrible during this time, which tested our resolve, our patience, and our marriage back in the summer of 2021. As I write this, we’ve endured two nights with Ryan in his new bed and it has (fortunately) been a bit more bearable. The first night was relatively painless, with the second being much more of a grind. His bedtime stall tactics are different than the yelling, screaming, and crying that Kyle used, which is a welcome change. Ryan will kill you with kindness, wanting one more book, someone to lay with him, and constantly coming in and out of his room. But kids never cease to amaze you, and after about an hour of bedtime negotiation we found Ryan passed out in one of the most bizarre positions with all the lights on. Either way, once he is asleep, he’s down for the count. 

It's been a while since I shared an update on my children, although the pictures always seem to be a hit. Heading into the end of the year means that we’ll have plenty more going on as we have some travel planned, shortly followed by the holidays. As many know, kids are an endless source of entertainment and we’re no exception! More stories to come, I’ll guarantee it.

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