The morning air fills with a dichotomy of time. The youngest needs help getting dressed in her mismatched outfit, doesn’t care if her hair’s done and fills her tiny mouth with cereal. The eldest scarfs down self-made scrambled eggs, combs his newly cut hair, and grabs his gargantuous backpack. I watch these two sit side by side. For the youngest, I manage much of her day and her minutes and her life and her goings and her comings because, well, she’s three. For the eldest, it’s time for yet another release.
It’s the first day of school. High school that is. And this mama is swallowing slowly, trying to savor every second life gives while dislodging the rather large lump in my throat (and briefly wondering why I never home schooled … It seems a lot easier for the heart right about now!). I’m not sure how we got here this quickly, but here we are.
I remind him to be strong and courageous. To not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord is with him wherever he goes. Somehow this reminder is as much for my heart as it is for his.
I drop him off, and I watch as my heart walks right out of my chest and through those heavy glass doors. It’s a funny thing when you become a parent how your heart travels wherever your kids are no matter how old they are and where they find themselves. I’m not sure what my heart will experience today in that building, but as I sit and watch the glass close behind my freshman I fill with hope. I have to hope or fear creeps in, and my mind is pretty good at knowing how to come up with ways to fear. It doesn’t take much. But where fear paralyzes possibility and tears down truth, hope is always the better option.
I’m hope-full in this new stage of parenting, coming alongside our boy who is becoming a man.
I’m hope-full in the choices of friends, the mentors, the coaches, the teachers and those who can model honor, dignity and grace.
I’m hope-full in life lessons, even amidst disappointments, failures and unexpected journeys.
I’m hope-full he’ll never forget to be brave, courageous and kind.
And in the next six hours when the day becomes long with my three-year-old, who never stops for one moment, will say “mom” a million times and creates mini tornadoes wherever she goes, I’ll be thinking about how truly short the years are. The chasm of years between my first and last born give me this beautiful vantage point of time.
So, we’ll do our own version of school with numbers, letters and finger painting. We’ll probably pick blackberries and turn the music up loudly. Then, we’ll miss her brother and sister at school when she asks for their songs (you know, Thunder, Let You Down, You Say, and This is Me … typical songs when your siblings are in middle and high school, ha!)
And at the end of today when my heart reenters the car, I’ll soak in every word he shares with me. But for now in this moment, I open my hands, release my child once again to the One who sees, knows and created my son and rest in Hope.