Our oldest son is starting Kindergarten tomorrow, and I have to confess that my husband and I are having a harder time than we expected letting him go. My dad assures me that he will, indeed, come home again. But it's so hard not to be there when they take these first steps into big-kid-hood!! My husband wrote a beautiful article the other day that gets to the heart of what we're both feeling, I think. So, I twisted his arm to let me share his words. He doesn't like people to know he has a sensitive side! :-)
Blessings and Peace,
Blessings and Peace,
“Back To School”
Teacher meetings began last week, back to school or meet the teacher night is tomorrow and Thursday will be the first day of school. Another year full of possibilities, another year full of potential. Highs and lows, successes and failures, opportunities seized and opportunities lost, chances to shine and excel, new friends to meet, new love to explore, heartbreak to experience, victory and defeat, championships to be won and lost, and above all lessons learned.
These are just some of what is typically experienced during a typical school year, although we all know there is no such thing as a typical school year. It begins with such promise and excitement, new clothes and hair styles, new school supplies and high hopes.
This school year has me feeling a little sentimental. On Thursday morning we send Garrett off to Kindergarten. The new backpack has been purchased (Lego Star Wars, of course), all the supplies have been carefully purchased and placed in said backpack (complete with Spiderman pencil box), the school clothes have been carefully picked out and the excitement mounts. Garrett has asked so many questions about school and what he might experience. He is worried about people thinking he is silly. He is worried that his favorite new shirt might not be all that cool.
Daddy is worried too. It seems like it was just yesterday that I held that little boy in my arms for the first time, him already holding his head up high and looking all over, taking in his surroundings and this strange new world he had just entered. Now, in a couple of days he enters a new world where Mommy and Daddy can’t be there to catch him if he falls, we can’t be there to sooth him when someone hurts his feelings, we can’t be there when he needs us.
Now, I know that he doesn’t need us as much as we think he does, but this new world he is excited about exploring is inevitably going to cause him joys and pains, he will meet new friends and also have his feelings hurt by others, he will learn many lessons, some through pain. For a parent, standing back and watching, knowing that pain is going to come and that there is nothing I can do about it, is hard. Our little boy isn’t just beginning school this week, he is entering a new world that is out of my control.
Countless reflections come to mind as I think about how God watches over us, his children, as sees all the pain and hurt that is in front of us. As I think of the anxiety I have about Garrett starting school and going slightly beyond my control (although that boy has never been controllable), I wonder about the feelings God must have as He watches his children everyday hurting each other, making decisions that will lead to pain. He could intervene, he could stay by us in a way that would ensure we never experience any of this, could protect us in a bubble and shield us from all potential harm. He could do all that, but he doesn’t. He knows that we will never become who we are created to be unless we experience pain and hurt, highs and lows, joys and sorrows. God could protect us, but in the end, it would do us more harm.
So now, with my eyes starting to get misty as I think about walking away from Garrett on Thursday morning, leaving him alone to learn and experience, I must have faith that my Heavenly Father will be with him, (and me) as he begins to navigate this new, and not always easy, world.
As always, it is a pleasure to be your pastor and in ministry with you to a God who loves us enough to allow us to grow through all sorts of experiences.