My son started school last Monday. I'm not going to lie- there were tears. There was screaming. There may have even been a moment when arms were latched around a leg so tightly that circulation may have been cut off.
Okay, okay... I am exaggerating a little.
I did cry, but not until I got home. I did scream in my head, something like, No, don't go! Stay home with me PLEASE forever and ever and stay my little boy and let me take care of your every need always! The holding-on-to-the-leg thing was purely figurative... If I could have held him and never let him go, I would have.
My son was ready. He excitedly galloped into his classroom and told me goodbye, oblivious to my inherent need to sit next to him and make sure everything went smoothly. No tears. No kicking and screaming. No holding on to his mom.
I know I am now amongst a group of women, and of parents, who have experienced this same bittersweet time in a child's life. You know it is time to send them off into the world to learn and grow and become what they have the potential to become. You hope you have prepared them enough academically, socially, and emotionally to adjust to this momentous change in their lives. You want to wrap their little hearts in bubble wrap to protect them from the hurt that will surely come.
Beyond being a kindred spirit to millions of parents who have bravely walked this road before me and with me, I better understand how the Father of us all felt and continues to feel as we, His children, attend this school of life.
I think that God wanted us all to stay with Him forever and ever, holding on to us and never letting us go, but He knew that we needed to leave Him in order to learn and grow and become who we have the potential to become. He wants to protect us. He wants us to be prepared for whatever obstacles appear in our paths. His heart ached when we left His presence, just as mine did on that first day of leaving my son in the hands of Coronado Elementary School.
On Friday of that first week, when I finally agreed to let my son try riding the bus, he sprinted onto that thing before I could tell him goodbye. I did what any rational mother would do. I got into my vehicle and drove down to the school in order to beat the bus there. I made sure he got off the bus and into the school. You would think that I left then, right? Nope. I sat there across from the school, debating within myself: Should I go in just to check that he got to his classroom okay? My husband, who, bless his heart, was my teammate in this whole scenario, told me to go in. "You know it will make you feel better," he said. I went in. I opened the door to his classroom, hoping he wouldn't see me, but he did. "Hi, Mom," he cheerfully spoke to my now-comforted heart. Thank goodness he doesn't know that it may have been a tad bit crazy for me to be doing that. Now when he is 15...
Two weeks have passed, and it is getting easier. Easier to put him on the bus in the morning and send him away. Easier to trust that he is well taken care of.
Easier to know that God watches over us both.