Tuesday, August 16, 2011
…mine that is. Yes, I had many fears. In fact, I only slept 3 hours the night before. We have been in our new state for 1 month and 12 days, and this is their first time to attend public schools. While I am very excited about it all, I know the kids have not met any friends yet, it is a much bigger school than they are accustomed to and…well, I don’t know how it will be not being taught in a Christian environment. Don’t even get me started on the fact that my oldest baby is starting middle school this year.
I took Justin to his new school and walked him in – upon his request/permission. We walked to his locker and put a few more things in that we had not taken up the week before. He was then directed to join the other kids in the common area. I left him sitting on a bench – alone. Close to other students – but alone. Everyone else saw a cute, tween boy sitting there. I saw a chubby toddler with sippy cup. He was all smiles, eager to get his day started. I held on to my waterfall of tears until I was close to my SUV.
My baby. How dare he grow up and go to middle school. (He thought it would be cool to have the fire in the background. Yes, it is hot outside.)
I cried all the way back home where Dad was waiting with the other 3 excited little people. I was highly offended that Dad did not shed any tears. Maybe by Friday I will be speaking to him again.
Seth jumped out of the truck and was in the building before we could even unbuckle. He had already given me the rules of no kissing, no hugging and let him walk in alone. He informed me that he is a grown-up. I told him when he starts paying the bills I will call him a grown-up. With a sad sigh at the back of his head, I waved bye to him.
Seth, the conqueror. He could not be bothered with the fire and scenery. He used to call me his "sweet lips" and now he pretends he doesn't know me in public. Really?
As usual, there was no drama surrounding Cooper. We walked in, we hugged and kissed good-bye and that was it. Thanks, Coop.
Sweet Cooper moving up to first grade. He just wants to know how many recesses they have and what time snack is served.
And last, but certainly not least…baby girl is leaving Mommy at home all day by herself. I told her the night before that I was going to miss her everyday while she is at school. I said, “I’m not sure if I want you to go to school. I am going to miss you.”
Her reply was simply, “Then don’t drive me.” Oh, my letting-go muscles are cramping up.
Anabelle my big girl. She is rocking that tie. That was her favorite shirt we bought for school, and she just HAD to wear it the first day. It was in her backpack when I picked her up.
I took her to class last, with my camera in hand ready to take too many pictures. And I successfully took some great action shots. She was all smiles until…
This picture leads you to believe that the drop-off was an easy one, doesn't it. Don't be fooled by that sweet smile and innocent pose, there is a melt-down coming, and it is not going to be pretty.
We entered the parent-filled classroom and settled into her seat and to the art project her teacher had layed out. I snapped pictures of her decorating her name with bits of glue and paper while she worked diligently. (Times like this I re-think not naming her Sue or Ann. Something simply short.)
Parents begin to trickle out and I took that as my cue. Then a little boy clung for dear life to his crying mom. Teacher’s aides were in the room to help for just such an event. This was a smart staff – prepared. I looked at Anabelle and knelt to give her a final hug. At least she isn’t crying, I thought, as I glanced over at the sad scene.
“Are you ready for me to go?” I asked giving her a hug.
“Yes. No. Yes. No, I don’t want you to leave. I want to go with you.” Her voice became weak and cracked the last few words. Oh no.
“Baby, I have to go. I will be back after school to get you. You are going to have a great day.” I dragged out the word great in my best fake-cheery voice.
“I want to go with you. I’m too shy.” And the tears started to fall. I hugged her and she latched onto my neck.
Then she said the words that broke my heart into wee pieces and made my eyes sting. “What if no one plays with me?”
Okay, well, is kindergarten really necessary? I mean, education is overrated. Right? She can just live at home with Dad and me for the rest of her life. You can go far in life with a preschool education. Maybe?
I did my best to reassure her that she is going to make a lot of new friends and have a wonderful day. An observant teacher’s aide came to the rescue and knelt to Anabelle’s eye level, talking to her in a sweet, soothing voice. I slowly walked away as this horrible – I mean precious – woman took my baby in her arms.
Then Anabelle realizes I am backing out and she started screaming and sobbing. “Mommy! Please! Please!”
I started back towards her until the aide shewed me away, as she struggled not to drop my desperate child. I blindly made my way to the parking lot. Ugh. Being a Mom is so painful sometimes. Child birth has nothing on the first day of school.
Once in my car I cried and prayed. “Lord, they are all in your hands. There is nothing I can do. They are in Your care.”
I know I shouldn’t say this, but I hate praying that. I want them in my hands. I want to cling to them, hold onto them with all my might. I want to stop time so they don’t grow up. I want to keep them. Just keep them.
But I also know the Truth. I know that as hard as it is to fathom, Jesus loves them even more than I do. They are much better off in His Hands than they ever could be in my grip. In His Hands are the absolute best place I could leave them. Fortunately, He is patient with me and understands the growing pains of motherhood.
As they continue to stretch their tiny wings and grow, I will be stretching and growing too.
By the way, when I picked Anabelle up from school she said, “This was the worst day of my life.” I laughed. Then she did too. I have a feeling she is going to love kindergarten. Thank you, Lord.