School is starting and on any other year, this would leave me with a tinge of excitement. There is something within me that enjoys the start of a brand new year. New teachers. New friends. New backpacks and pencils. Reminiscing of my childhood, I adored back-to-school shopping.
As a child, you feel like you have some ownership in the matter– a right to passage, so to say. You get to pick out the folders, the lunch box and maybe even an unnecessary surprise.
And I’ll be honest (okay, real honest)…by the time August rolls around, I’m usually so ready for school to begin. I’m tired of picking up after my messy kids and thinking of activities to occupy their seemingly endless time. There’s a part of me that likes a bit of routine. A schedule. A plan. I feel ready to have my kids have something to do besides watching t.v. and playing video games. They might actually have someone else tell them to pull out a book and learn something new.
But despite all of this, the feeling this morning was different. I almost cringed at the thought.
Today is the last day I will experience “The First Day of School” with my oldest daughter. She is a senior. Next year, I know she won’t be living at home.
As mommas, we dread these moments. These last moments hit us like a ton of bricks because we know they are the last.
The last time we will breastfeed. The last time we will tuck them in bed and read them a book. The last time they need help tying their shoe. The last time they will let us kiss them in the drop-off lane at school. Oh, all the lasts.
If I could turn back time, I probably would.
I would change by taking the time to sit and just cherish. I would cherish the bumps and the bruises and the cries for help. I would cherish the late night drama of homework procrastination. I would cherish the random hugs and unwarranted kisses. I would cherish, oh yes, I would.
I must remind myself that God has got this thing covered.
He can do far more than my protective eye. He can parent in my absence and direct their uncharted path. He goes before and behind them. They are always under His watchful eye.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5
Thank you, God, for watching our children. Thank you God for your sweet gift of time. May we not forget all the moments–the joy and the laughter.