Sunday, November 3, 2013


Yesterday's Cross Country meet was the Florida State Championships for Middle Schoolers, grades 6-8.  There were HUNDREDS of kids in each race.   ALL of Reilly's teammates did girl placed 12th in State, and one boy placed 8th!  But the whole team is headed to Athens, Georgia for NATIONALS (!) on December 5-6.  When we made the family decision in January for Reilly to try to get accepted to Real Life Christian Academy and forego public middle school, we had no idea where the journey would take us.  Reilly had to jump over a bunch of really high hurdles to meet their requirements.  And all four of us had to not just physically and emotionally commit to this new way of life, but the financial engagement was more than a commitment, it was going to be a burden.  Explaining the new outflow of funds to Jake was a pretty hard sell.  But as Reilly cleared hurdle after hurdle, as the finish line towards enrollment was in sight, no member of Team Fallon ever looked back.

It is now November.  Reilly just finished her first quarter as a "Raptor".  And what a first quarter it has been.  Academically, she has conquered the more challenging curriculum and overcome the higher grading scale, earning a 3.83 on her first report card.  I had conferences with all of her teachers last week, and ALL five of them could not have sung higher praises.  Every teacher told me that they could not find one single area for improvement.   In fact one of them told me, "She's my favorite student of all the classes.  I know I shouldn't say that, but I can't lie.  Her AVERAGE is 100!  I absolutely LOVE her!"  When I suggested that perhaps Reilly wasn't being challenged enough, and that maybe we should consider giving her additional or more difficult assignments (even though I see her putting in several hours of homework every night including weekends), the teacher actually SCOLDED me, saying, "Mrs. Fallon!  Did you hear what I said?  She AVERAGES 100!  Which means she is PERFECT!  We don't need to do anything more, she is meeting AND exceeding all benchmarks!"  When I pushed the issue a bit by again remarking that extra work should be a consideration, I was scolded yet again by the teacher who said, "Mrs. Fallon!  Do you have any idea how HARD my tests are?"   Sheepishly I replied, ""  Then came the tongue lashing.  "They are VERY difficult.  Reilly has the highest grade of all my classes.  It is rare for any teacher to see a student perform with ZERO mistakes, but she is doing it, and I am not about to mess with what I view to be PERFECTION."  I gave up.  After all, the teachers are the professionals, I'm just a Mom.  The teacher told me to go home and ask Reilly how hard the tests were.  So when I got home, I asked Reilly if the tests in this particular subject were indeed as hard as her teacher indicated, Reilly sighed and told me, "Yeah Mom, they're pretty hard."  Okay.  Teacher 1 - Mom 0.

And now, Team Fallon's biggest hurdle is yet to come.

Billy Fallon was diagnosed with leukemia on November 1, 2013.  As of now, that is all we know.  We know we are in for some high, high hurdles.  But we are locked, loaded and ready.  And inspired by the miraculous survival of four of our best friends from a plane crash a week ago. Bring it on, cancer. Team Fallon is ready for battle once again.

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