This is the last one.
But when your kids, who were supposed to start school all on the same day
spread it out over the whole week-
well, it takes several posts.
And the last was certainly not least.
After sadly missing his first two days of school, KJ finally got his big day on Thursday.
The First Day of First Grade.
There were lots of things I knew to anticipate about the craziness of the first week of school-
the paperwork, the meetings, the schedule changes, the emotions, the lunches, the routines
But I didn't see this one coming.
I knew the brothers would be thrilled to walk into the building together for the first time.
I correctly assumed they would come home at the end of the day telling tales of seeing each other in the hallway and cafeteria.
But what I didn't expect
was that this guy- the big brother of the group- would be so apprehensive.
I totally should have seen it coming.
Because he'd missed the first two days, he was walking into a situation where everyone else seemingly already knew what to do. And he didn't know what to expect.
I should have know that because last year didn't go like he expected, he would be unsure about starting another year.
He melted in beside me as we walked to his classroom, squeezing my hand and sticking a little closer than usual. And I totally should have known that my boy who LOVED being at home all summer would not be over-the-top excited about restarting the days of being away so much.
But my very first indicator, should have been before we even left home. After I'd snapped a few FDOS pictures of this big guy. He squeezed me and said "How about one of just you and me?" UM....YES, PLEASE!
As he sat in his desk and I could see a few tears welling, I couldn't decide whether to just cry so he'd feel better about letting loose, too. Or walk away quickly to make it easier for both of us.
In the end, I did neither.
I leaned in close, hugged him just the right amount for a big first grader AND still a little bit my baby,
and whispered in his ear...
I love you.
You've got this because God has made you a mighty encourager.
Find others to help and encourage and the day will fly by.
I will always and forever be proud of you.
I can't wait to hear all about it when I pick you up at 3.
And then I left. I didn't get to see a change in his eyes, like I did his little brother. But when I picked him up- bounding toward the car- the van door was barely open before his excited voice proclaimed "I GOT A TICKET" and various other fdos victories.
Even going back and documenting the day now,
I'm flooded with prayers for my children and their time in school.
Oh, Lord, give me strength to let go. Help me find ways to prepare my children for the paths before them, but not hold on so tightly they miss the opportunities to soar alone. Forgive me when there are times I miss the opportunities to speak your blessings into them. Flood their days with the power of your love and grace. Help them have confidence in knowing that they are YOURS. And Lord in that confidence, give them opportunities to hold their heads up and proclaim your name.
Conqueror of fears, giver of good gifts, Lord.
Even on the first day of school.
It's a good thing this was only the 2nd year of many starts of school. Because apparently this Momma still has a lot to learn. About myself. About my children. About school. About my God.
Nope, I didn't see that one coming at all.