Okay, so this is technically in the past, but I was not blogging in August when my firstborn started kindergarten and it is one of those mom milestones, so please allow me to share!
For starters, his first day of kindergarten was not the first day of kindergarten. Yes, I do believe he is the first person to miss the first day of his entire real school career! School was to start on Monday, and the Sunday prior my husband and I were sitting in our Bible Study class when his cell phone vibrated, our 5 year old was in the preschool department throwing up. As we rushed to him I had already begun the panic, “He'll miss his first day of kindergarten!”
I tried not to freak out my child, but on the inside I was freaking out! “What would this mean? Would he be behind for the rest of the school year? The rest of his elementary school years, even? Well, now we can kiss the perfect attendance award good-bye!” All of these things I was thinking. I shared my neurosis with my husband and he jumped on the chance to poke a little fun at me, “Oh yes,” he said, “I'm sure even in high school it will haunt him. His teachers will say, 'we covered this the first day of kindergarten, too bad you missed it!'”
So his first day was actually the 2nd day for everyone else and that made it harder, but maybe easier. The first day the parents walked the kids to their classroom and had a longer goodbye. The second day the parents were suppose to drop the kids off in the cafeteria and say goodbye before the teachers came to get them and walk them to class.
So there I am dropping my beloved son off at big school, in a cafeteria full of kids to spend 7 hours with a teacher we met for 5 minutes the week before. And to top it off, he had not vomited in over 24 hours, but was still looking rather pale. “He needs his mommy!” my heart screamed at me. But, as the 1st bell rang, he whispered to me, “Mom, you have to go.”
All I could do was walk away and pray that God would take care of him and that if there were any tough situations that they would serve to build his character for the better.
You know people always say, “I don’t know how people go through serious illness, death of a close family member, etc. without relying on God.” Well, I absolutely agree with that question, but now I have one more. How does anyone send their kid off to kindergarten without believing in God? Without believing that there is someone, and a huge all-knowing, all-powerful someone that loves my kid even more than I do and knows them better than I do, that is watching out for them.
It doesn’t mean that it is always going to be easy, in fact, God gives us struggles to grow us into the people he wants us to be. James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Oh, it is so hard, though, to “consider it all joy” when your precious offspring is going through something tough. It would be easier to endure the hardship yourself than have your child suffer even a little! But if we completely shelter our kids from anything difficult in this world -- that not so nice teacher, other kids who may not always be kind or Christian-like, getting a zero for an incomplete assignment, not making the basketball team, not being invited to the party, sitting out the entire game because they were late – then are we not hampering God’s ability to work in our child’s life?
Consider the story you may have heard about the man who while watching a butterfly struggling through a small hole trying to emerge from his cocoon, reached down and widened the hole a little. The butterfly was never able to fly. He spent his entire life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. What the man didn’t know was that the butterfly needed that struggle getting free from the cocoon to push fluid out of his body and into his wings in order for him to able to fly.
It is so hard, this letting-go process with our children! But this Tuesday, and every day I am thankful that God is in control of my children’s lives and that He is good! I just pray that when they drop my hand in the cafeteria they grab onto His!
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