I’ll go ahead and be straight with you. I’m tender today.
We sent our oldest to 3rd, and youngest to Kindergarten this morning. When that darling man of mine took me to breakfast, it was all I could do to keep myself from bawling right there in the middle of Market Street. I couldn’t eat, for fear I couldn’t choke back tears and eat at the same time. And for two people who talk a lot…it was kind of quiet. There was as much sadness as there was disbelief…a mutual realization that a new season of our life had begun. A season of two children in school, away from home all day long. We clung to a few moments together, but as was inevitable, we parted ways. Him to work, me back to our home.
I sit here now, Pandora streaming on the iPhone, laundry humming in the background, and a dog snoring at my feet.
And as I anticipated, it’s quiet. Really, really quiet. The hum, the buzz, the continual whirl of children is gone. They are happy, mostly well-adjusted kiddos who danced their way into the first morning of school.
Those two darling things are such miracles in my life. They are messy, kind, silly, beautiful, funny and just like a Lowe, LOUD. Grin. Oh how I love them so much.
There have been kid(s) home with me for over 8 1/2 years. And it was more than I could have ever dreamed of. Those baby/toddler/preschool years. The diapers. The teething. The toddling, the potty training. The moments when I knew my heart would burst as I watched all of the ‘firsts.’ The days when I wanted to run naked down the street because I thought I’d lose my mind if I had to watch The Wiggles one more time.;)
I remember simple moments. The back living room of our old house, watching it rain, and a 9 month old trying to touch the rain as it rain down the outside of the window. I remember her pushing that little stroller around our house with her stuffed puppy dog in it. I remember when she was 2, we brought a snarky little one home in a blue blanket who might have been the most demanding 8lb, 8oz fellow I’ve ever met. He was cranky…(understatement!)….and those first few months were a living nightmare. Of course, I probably would have been cranky too if I had ear infections and acid reflux. I remember them learning to play together…siblings….life shared with another. The times we would ride in our red wagon around the neighborhood just to get out of the house.
And then, oh, the void Cameron and I felt when she grew and went to Kindergarten. The past 3 years have been a tender time of having a sweet buddy to run errands with, and go to Walking Wednesdays so we could see Meredith. It was Cars, Lego’s, and falling asleep on the way to pick Mere up from school.
The thing is, I know with my head they are where they need to be. Yet my heart is full, my throat tight, my eyes sting with tears. Its hard to let go of them. I can’t remember which movie it was, but I remember seeing a movie once where they talked about having children meant part of your heart would be outside your body for the rest of your life. Right now, 2 pieces of my heart are sitting in classrooms at Murfee Elementary.
It will be ok. This stretching. This trusting. This letting go.
Because I know that the One who gave those babies to us is the One who is still there with them. I know that where I can’t be, He already is. And eventually, I’ll quit crying when I leave the parking lot…the routine of this new season will become normal. It will grow and expand and teach them. It will grow, expand, and teach me as well. As it should. Anything given by the Lord has purpose.
Lord, protect them. Bless those little minds with big wisdom. Fill them with your gentleness, kindness, and mercy. Be their comfort as they learn new routines and navigate this day. I know you hold them close. Thank you for that. And please, remind them how much they are loved. By you. By us. Bring us together safely and give me the ears to hear the joy, the self-control to put my selfish flesh aside so I can revel in the joy of this new season with them. In Jesus’ glorious Name, Amen.