Even as a parent, the first day of school stirs up a level of excitement and anticipation. Yesterday when I sat down to get all the supplies organized and into their respected backpacks, it brought back memories of my first days of school - having new clothes, new school supplies, and wondering who your teacher was going to be that year and hoping that you got the "best" one. You know, the one that was everyone's favorite. I loved getting my school supplies ready. Even then I was an organizer, so I loved the task of getting everything into my school box (remember when they were cardboard?) and into my new school bag. My favorite thing was when my mom would splurge and get me the 64- count Crayola crayons with the built-in sharpener. Wasn't that the best?
Today, I welcomed a new school year through the eyes of my children.
Our daughter, Jessica is a senior this year - her final year of high school. I remember when she was finally a freshman, and she would talk about the day she would be a senior. It is here now, and it has come so quickly. I know that she will be counting down the days until graduation, and I will be sharing her excitement. At the same time I will be doing my best to prepare myself for letting go. Her days are going to be filled making memories with her friends, studying, and working. My days are going to be spent making the most of every minute I have with her knowing that before too long, she will be on a new journey of her own.
Sam is a 6th grader in middle school. He wasn't at all the least bit nervous as we stood in the driveway waiting for the bus. I am very proud of my son. He is going to a new school, will have new friends, new classes, and a new level of responsibility. There are going to be situations to deal with that we didn't have to deal with in elementary school. He's with the "big" kids now.
Finally, there is Ben. He is a 5th grader this year, and he too is in a new school. He's a little more nervous and unsure. Ben often has a hard time finding the positive in certain situations. So, when he came to me last night and told me he was a "little" excited about school starting, I knew that he was going to be okay.
Every year we take the famous "back-to-school" picture. Time has gone so fast when I see the pictures that have been taken year after year. It's so easy as a parent to find yourself saying things like, "I can't wait until they can crawl, I can't wait until they can walk, I can't wait until they can drive, I can't wait until..." When I look at my children, I want to embrace and celebrate where they are right now. I don't want to move time faster than it already comes. There's too much to enjoy right now. I want to be a mom that is present, not just physically but mentally and spiritually with my children. I want to know their needs, encourage them, teach and guide them, pray for them and love them well. I'm not saying I don't look forward to the things to come, I do. I know that God has a plan and a purpose for their future, and I eagerly await watching His will unfold in the lives of my children.
I just want to enjoy who they are now, today - to know that this is all part of a bigger picture, and it's just a step along the way.