Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Time is Close at Hand

I know this is a biblical phrase, of sorts, but it seemed fitting for my post and what I wanted to say today. (And a warning, if you're already skiddish about your kids being in school or you're approaching that first day, you may not want to read this. I'm downright emotional today!)

In just two days, my first-born will be starting full-day kindergarten. Many of you know that I have wrestled with this decision for about a year, and we came to the conclusion, as a family, that we would be sending him to public school. It has been an incredibly difficult decision, but one I still think is the right one for now.

I am prefacing what I'm about to say with these statements (thus freeing myself to emote and journal my thoughts hereafter): I know we made the right decision. I know he'll be great. I know this is going to be really good for him. And I realize I may sound irrational when I say the following things.


I am worried. Worried that he won't do well. Worried that he won't fit in. Worried that he won't be treated with love and compassion. Worried that his love for God will be hindered. Worried that nobody will respond to him when he needs something. And worried that he'll be negatively influenced by the kids in his class that don't share our values.

To only name a few.

And as I sit here in my home while he and daddy are at church (we have a feverish toddler today), I remember that God commands us NOT to worry. I could list at least ten verses that come to mind.

My favorite is this: "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." --Isaiah 26:3

When Cody was a baby (and even through toddlerhood), I used to always rock him and sing him a song from my all-time favorite Twila Paris lullabye CD that repeated the above verse. It brought me such comfort as his mama, and those quiet moments while he had his little head on my chest are some of the most precious memories and ones I will cherish for as long as God allows me to live on this earth.

Today my sweet Lord reminded me that I must focus on a God who has my little boy in the palm of His hand, who will never leave or forsake him, and who will watch over and keep him in perfect peace. All of His promises are STILL true, regardless of our schooling choice. The year ahead will reveal whether or not we made the right decision.

The pastor of our previous church put it this way: "When your children are born, they are literally tied to you with a cord. That initial cord is cut, but as newborns, toddlers, and pre-schoolers, a new cord is tied between the two of you. That cord has very little slack at first, and you keep those little ones very close to you. As they get a little older, you begin to loosen the slack a bit and give them a little more space between the two of you. You give them opportunitites to learn about the world. You continue to teach them and raise them with Godly values, but you give them some space to make their own decisions. Your hope and prayer should be that as you continue loosening that slack, and that cord gets a little longer between you, your children will have learned how to remain in the world but not be OF it."

I think that picture of the cord between Cody and I lengthening is what makes this so hard. He's my first-born. I love him with a love I couldn't have imagined before I became a parent. We've had an awesome five years together and the thought of him being gone all day, five days a week, is so hard to imagine. People keep telling me it's going to be okay, that he's going to be wonderful and that he'll love school. They also remind me that this will free up precious time with Caden, to lay a good foundation for him, just like I was able to do for Cody. And they tell me that this is only kindergarten, and we can change our mind at anytime. I am sure they are right. But today, from this emotional heart, it's hard to choose trust over worry, joy over sadness, and confidence over apprehension. But I know that with God's help, I can.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:6-7


MorningSong said...

I can feel your pain! I have had the same thoughts and we had my daughter (4 years) signed up for preschool this year. I withdrew our name from the school and have wondered if our journey is the right one for us! We are giving homeschool a shot, but I know my little HC is a social butterfly. I don't want to limit her by my acts. We feel God is leading us too but somedays we wonder. I think it is just a process, every day give the fear/anxiety over to Him and every day we get more confident with the journey we are on! I will pray for you! I cannot imagine having to do what you are about to do. I actually worked from the time HC was 9 months until she was 2 years old. When I dropped her off, I felt like I was leaving her or abandoning her. It was gut wrenching. But when my JB came along the staff daycare was shocked - I just brought him to them and went back to work. With HC I gave them a 2 page note of instructions (she was there for a total of 4 hours and I was on campus). But with JB I knew he was in safe hands, I knew how much they adored HC and I trusted they would treat my JB the same. They later told me they watched me walk away, when I left JB, in shock. They expected me to be weepy and leave a novel! haha He was only 6 weeks old at the time. Anyway, sorry for the length of this comment!

I will be praying for you! Does he start on Monday??

Just T said...

As a Mum of 2, I know exactly how you feel. I felt it when my 1st born started full-time school, and again when my youngest started school this year.

It breaks my heart even now when they come home and tell me their friends have been mean. I turn into "protective Mama bear" and say something to their teachers.

It's a hard decision for any parent to let go of their babies, and let them go places where we can't supervise all day, but I am sure the school you have chosen is a great school, and your son will have the best time!

Life With All Boys said...

All I can say Happi is it DOES get easier. I never enjoy seeing my boys walk away from my front door in the mornings, but oh how they LOVE school. And I just praise God for that. Your Cody will do great. And so will you. I promise.


Glass Half Full said...

Wanna hear something cool? I was thinking of the exact same scripture as I read not knowing how you were going to conclude this post. :)

Everything will be fine!!!


Kari Lynn said...

Aww, Hap. I feel your "pain". I'm dealing with the same type of situation only at a different stage. Tyler is playing football and is hanging around new people. He's finding himself. Not changing who he is but forming his own opinions. Cody will be fine. But some of your worries will happen but that is life. Tyler learned a big lesson the other day when his cell phone was stolen from his locker during football practice. He has always been a very trusting person. It was a bad situation but taught him something that he didn't understand just from us telling him. Just take bad situations and turn them into learning experiences. You and Cody will have so many opportunities to talk about things that he has never experienced being at home and you may never have thought of talking about. Good and bad. It will be okay. I promise.