Today he finished elementary school. I now believe those people who told me when he was in Kindergarten that I would blink and he would be in middle school….they weren’t lying.
I watched him walk into his elementary school building this morning for the last time. I had to ask him to please turn around and wave at me as he walked away. To my surprise he didn’t hesitate to do what I asked. Thank goodness he’s not too embarrassed to do things like this for his momma….yet.
Seriously. It was just yesterday that I walked him into his kindergarten class on the first day. He let me walk him in for 3 days and then I was about to get out of the car to walk him in on day 4 and from the backseat I heard him say.
“Momma, I can get to my class by myself today.”
I wasn’t quite sure how to feel. Proud. Sad. Scared.
Those doors are heavy, can he open them himself?
His class is in the back of the school. What if he makes a wrong turn?
My heart raced.
As I watched him walk towards that building by himself that day, he stopped at the stairs and turned and gave me a big smile and blew me a kiss.
Tears streamed down my face.
My firstborn was carving a new path for me as a momma.
The path that I would learn to walk of letting my son grow wings and begin to learn to fly on his own.
Oh. My. Goodness.
This has been one of the most difficult things for this Type A momma who likes to be in charge and struggles with fear of things I can’t control.
God has used parenting my boy as a way to chisel away at this heart of mine and learn to live out what I believe. . .this beautiful (a momma can say that about her boy), tenderhearted, brave boy is not really mine at all.
I gave him to the Father from the moment I learned of his conception. Every day I must choose to live in this position. . .giving up the control that I want to have over my son and allowing the Holy Spirit to be his Guide, Comforter, and Teacher.
He was strong enough to open that big door by himself.
He didn’t get lost on his way to class.
Six years later…he is the one on safety patrol that was chosen to monitor the Kindergarten bus riders in the cafeteria and then escort them to the bus.
Every day this year I would sit in my car and watch him after school, walking these oh so little Kindergarteners to the bus, and I took mental pictures because it is a memory of him I do not want to forget.
Where did the last six years go?
Honestly…he was just that Kindergartener waving to me from the stairs letting me know he was okay and he could do it on his own.
I’ve been asking him a lot of reflection questions the past few weeks about his time in elementary school.
“Son, what do you think you have learned from being on Safety Patrol this year?”
“Kindergarteners….man they are all like sheep that have gone astray.”
My eyes glazed with tears as I laughed out loud. I love when my boy surprises me with his wit.
I looked at him in pride. Each year I have questioned our decision to have him in public school wondering if we had doomed him to educational mediocrity. . . if we had thrown him out to the wolves to be devoured.
I have dear friends who have chosen different educational paths for their kids…and I know that they too have days that they question the educational decisions that they have make for their kids..
Guilt. Frustration. Fear. The enemy’s tactics to make us question the path the Holy Spirit has each of us on…different paths but all for His glory.
In the past six years of having my son in public school, many times I have felt defeated in the guilt, frustration, and fear.
But in the quiet moments, I hear the still small voice say. “Trust me. I love that boy of ours. I’ve got this. You just press on momma”
As I stood there in the kitchen watching my boy shake his head about the disobedient kindergarteners, I was reminded that indeed God’s grace has covered all the times that I have failed in my parenting and He has been faithful to bless my novice parenting efforts.
I haven’t totally ruined my firstborn child. And this indeed is a miracle.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6
We have been memorizing some verses together as a family this year. Isaiah 53:6 is one of them.
Kindergarteners after school waiting for a bus. Having to walk on a sidewalk in a straight line. No pushing. No cutting in line. No walking on the grass. And for goodness sake “Get a Kleenex!”
Thank you Holy Spirit for teaching my son.
Thank you Jesus for your grace that covers my parenting failures.
Thank you Father for giving me big arms to rest in peace in on this wild ride of parenting.
Middle School….Here. We. Come. Surely it’s not as bad as they say (can you hear the sarcasm from a former middle school teacher….breathe momma breathe…it’s gonna be alright.)
And I have to include an epilogue to this entry…
When we first started memorizing Isaiah 53:6, I quoted the verse to the kids and asked them what they thought it meant.
I got a little frustrated with the big girl because I felt like she should surely understand the verse after I explained iniquity. I may or may not have gotten a little firm in my frustration with her not trying to think through what it might mean.
She was quiet for a while. My frustration built. I’ve failed. Does she really not understand the cross, sin, grace? Where have we gone wrong?
Then in her oh so sweet voice she said, “But momma I just don’t get it. Not everyone in the world likes sheep.”
I didn’t get it at first and then Joe started belly laughing.
“We all like sheep. You aren’t pausing at the commas.”
Parenting failure 10,904.
I hugged my girl. Apologized for my frustration with her and let her know how darn cute she is.
Relief. My failure wasn’t in my teaching theology to my kids…I just need to work on pausing at commas. I haven’t totally ruined them…yet.