I’ve taught preschool and worked in daycare and summer camps at different points my whole life. The one thing we stress to the parents is the drop and run. We tell them it’s easier for their children if they don’t linger. & it’s true. So this morning I knew what I had to do but I could kick that “know it all” teacher who urged the parents out of the door when said teacher was me. Because you know what? It sucks. You don’t want to leave. You want a viewing window like the hospital nursery scenes in movies. You want to hold their hand a little longer. Heck, maybe you want to go ahead and do that homeschool thing.
But, I kissed him right on the mouth because it’s probably the last time I can do that in a public school setting without setting off a “Stop it Mom!” moment, and I ran. I set my mind to the task of leaving, and I made myself stay dry-eyed. You know, maybe it’s silly for it to hurt this bad. I think about the day before when I couldn’t get a minute of peace and I just silently begged for their attention to turn elsewhere so Momma could have a second alone, and now he’s gone. & though the girls are here it’s not the same. It’s a reminder that the first part of my job is done. I’ve stayed with him as long as I could, preparing him for a bigger taste of the world and now someone else is in charge for half of the day.
I am reminded of my favorite quote about parenting from a beautiful book titled, “Bloom”.
“But here’s the thing: once you become a parent . . . once you start feeling a little funny and you buy a pregnancy test . . . once you see a pink plus sign . . . once you know it’s not just you anymore . . . well, you automatically carry around, for the rest of your life, an increased likelihood of having your heart broken. And it’s a constant fear that we struggle to put to rest. We can choose to be afraid or we can choose to live. And I choose to live. Because an increased likelihood of having your heart broken also carries with it an increased likelihood of finding yourself the happiest you’ve ever been in life.”
I think of that and through tears I can honestly type that I am scared senseless about my kids growing up. This is such a big scary world and knowing that I am not in control is terrifying, but, the balance is there. For every second I am scared and afraid for his future there is joy, and excitement and the feeling of pride in what we created and helped to nurture. I can’t promise I will always have faith in the world and how it will treat my baby. I can’t promise I will always be happy with the choices he makes, or the things that happen to him. I know the enemy will do his best to get inside my head and inside my heart and tell me to be afraid, but what I have on my side is unshakeable faith that my kids have been set on a path towards incredible lives. They are loved, and they have been taught to love. They know Jesus and he knows them by name.
I choose faith in His protection and his plan for them, and when given the choice to be heartbroken or thrilled about his adventure I will choose the latter, even if it is through tears and tissues.
Take heart Momma, you know what they say. The days are long but the years are short.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11