I've had more than one person recently tell me things such as "You're gonna be a mess on that day!" or "Just wait to see how your heart drops when your son is preparing to graduate" or my personal favorite, "Their first day of school will be your worst day of the year. Get ready". Seriously people, is this supposed to comfort me?? But it has got me to thinkin', and I think I may be the weirdest mom out there because y'all, I AM NOT SAD ABOUT THIS.
Before I get hate mail from people telling me how horrible it is that I have just said I am not sad about these milestones, let me explain. (If you still want to send me hate mail, go on. You won't be the first, I can assure you.) I love the milestones of life my children have faced and will still face in the future. And I'm not a callous person; I cry all the time these days (now THAT is a change from the days of old!). I shed a few tears when Ellie went to pre-K last year, and I shed even more when Bryan walked out of the courthouse with his driver's permit earlier this year, I mean, come on, I'm no freak. My kids are growing up, and there's a twinge of sadness about that. Each step through a milestone is one step closer to the door to the world outside of our home.
But isn't that what our purpose is? To raise our kids in a Godly manner so that they can flourish and spread His light to others once they leave our home? Isn't that why I've spent more time than I can count on my knees before my Father asking Him to pour His spirit into their hearts? Isn't that why I pray Ephesians 3:14-20 over them every day? (go read it now, y'all. I didn't type that for nothing!)
Here's my take on school. This is nothing to be sad about to me.
|First day of preschool 2009|
For Ellie, if there are tears on my face, it is not because I'm sad. Quite the contrary! That child was, just three years ago, sitting in an orphanage in Woliso Ethiopia with no hope of ever being taught anything other than survival skills. Her birth mother cannot read or write, and her biggest dream for Ellie is that she will learn. So, when I see my big girl walking with that massive backpack, carrying that sweet pink lunchbox, my heart soars. She is a walking miracle, learning more than she or her birth mother ever dared to dream. How can I be sad for that? And when she goes into that room and shares herself with others, I believe that God smiles on that. She is learning not only academically, but to be a friend, to share God's love, to serve others, to be humble, to let others go first, to speak up for herself, to imagine. Nope, I'm not one bit sad about that.
|Bryan's first day of high school-2009|
My son is a bit different. He is a senior this year. I'm not sad about that either. In fact, my heart sings over this. I've written about him before and the struggles he has had in school and personally. (See my blog from December 31, 2011 for more on this) Last year, we took him out of the public school and did our first year of home school. To say that he did well is a ridiculous understatement. He ROCKED that year! And not only did it show in his grades, but he smiles again. He is confident again. He is growing spiritually again. He is still here with us. Enough said. So, no way am I sad that he is progressing. This is natural, and he is becoming the man I've prayed his whole life that he would become. Don't think that I'm putting him on a pedastal because I'm not; he's a 16 year old boy. He messes up sometimes, no doubt. But he also does the right thing more and more, and I'm learning that I can trust him with more and more. To see him sorting through the decisions that he will have to make in the next year is exciting. I'm trying my best to keep my mouth shut encouraging him to seek God's will and to just pray without ceasing for him. Not always easy for a big mouth like me:)
So, 12 days from now, I doubt you will see many tears from this girl. But if you do... they'll be tears of joy and not sorrow. They'll be proof of my love for the two God has entrusted to Jeff and I to parent. Thanks be to God.