I’m a mess.
So this week, huge milestones were reached in my house.
Noah started kindergarten and Aidan turned 4.
And then I died.
Not really. But almost.
It’s silly, really. I know that these things in and of themselves don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Noah’s only going one more morning a week than he was last year at preschool, and Aidan’s not off to college yet. But the weight of emotion generated by both of these events is really just dragging me down!
Kindergarten really is a big deal.
He’s got a desk, guys. It’s for real.
He’s so ready for kindergarten, and he’s so nervous.
I think we’re both feeling the tension that goes with him growing. He’s a little bit anxious and wound up lately. He’s more emotional, more skittish. He’s processing things differently.
It’s such a hard transition for me, too. To know that we’re in school until he leaves me chokes me up every time I think about it.
We’ve been talking about what kindergarten and school in general will be like. We’ve discussed that the most important thing that we as parents care about, and that is that he is kind.
Not the best, not the strongest, fastest, or most intelligent.
We started talking about that last year in this post, but this year, it’s becoming much more important.
Jesus asks us to first and foremost love.
Love people who don’t love you back.
Love people who are different than you.
Love people who are hard to love.
Love people just because they are people.
Love is kind.
Kindergarten isn’t so daunting to me because it means that Noah’s growing up. I mean, that’s part of it. But the most scary part of starting school is the idea that he’s going out into the world without me there to protect him and guide him. Without me to pick him up after he falls, or, God help me, someone knocks him down.
I won’t be there to remind him to love, and to make sure he feels loved if someone else isn’t.
It’s trusting that I’ve done a good job so far teaching him to be kind and compassionate.
Sending him to kindergarten is the first real test of my parenting, and I’m plagued with questions. All the words and lessons, reminders and teaching moments – did they take? Were they right enough? Strong enough?
All of his skills…did I teach him enough? Is he prepared enough?
Were the last five years productive enough to give him a good enough start?
Noah started school two days ago.
He didn’t cry, and he sat down at his desk with a mix of trepidation and anticipation.
This morning was the third morning of dropping him off to start a brand new chapter in his life – somewhat alone.
As I watched him hop out of the car, grab his backpack, and run to line up with his new classmates, I was struck by how confident he had become. In three days, he’d figured out how to muster courage.
He’d become brave.
On his first day, my mom gave him a card that had a little blue stone in it to keep in his pocket every day to remind him that he is brave.
This morning I had to remind him to grab his stone. Pretty soon it will probably be lost, the lesson having been learned, rendering it unnecessary.
I’m starting to think that it just doesn’t matter if I’ve done enough.
We’re in it anyway.
And the truth is that I probably need that brave stone when he’s done with it.
I need to learn to be brave and trust that Jesus is enough for Noah, and that it’s never really been me in the first place.
Jesus will be more than enough for kindergarten and beyond.
Noah’s absolutely perfect for kindergarten.
He’s already kind and generous. He’s a smart and curious kid that loves to learn. He loves with his whole heart. He’s social and enjoys chatting with new people and being a part of a group.
He’s ready, so I guess I’d better be, too.
Anyone have a brave stone I could borrow?
Please tell me that first days make you cry, too.