For all of you moms, dropping them off for the first time – cry your tears. Those are good, hard-earned, well invested tears. Those first 5 years are the very most formative of all of his life. And look how much you’ve loved him. And prayed for him. And cherished and nurtured and snuggled and played with him! He is ready! You are less so, but you are going to make it, Mama! I wrote this the night before I took Nolan to kindergarten 4 years ago….
For the past 5 and a half years, I have had the distinct honor of mothering my precious son, Nolan. I have monopolized his time, dictated his schedule, and orchestrated each and every social interaction of which he has been a part. Tomorrow all of that changes as we begin a new era in our lives. I couldn’t help to let my mind drift back tonight as I tucked him into bed (teddy bear still clutched tightly in his arms)…
His early days were spent being rocked (for hours) and nursed (on demand), sung and read to, and being toted to and fro…wherever I needed to go. We cuddled and nestled and I distinctly remember trying to treasure those moments, as I could sense them fleeing right before my very eyes.
Once he began to toddle around, his personality emerged as a strong and curious leader, spontaneous and social…with a laugh that was simply infectious. Those days seemed to last a little longer, but the moments I continued to treasure. With each new discovery or word or milestone, we cheered him on. Always ready for the next big challenge, be it potty training or pronouncing the letter “K”, which seemed to take forever!
I suppose in a sense I have prepared for tomorrow for the past 5 and a half years. I knew this day would come.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I give up extra long after breakfast snuggles (we’ll have to figure out a different time). No more Tuesday morning playdates, Wednesday picnic lunches at the park that just last until whenever, or going to the zoo just because. Tomorrow we will slip into a routine. A schedule. There’ll be checklists and homework and permission slips and things that are really important to keep track of (even more important than an oddly shaped stick or rock that have been discovered in the driveway).
Tomorrow I will let my little heart walk about in the world. He’ll be influenced and instructed, challenged and changed. He’ll grow and adapt and make good friends and have conversations (and I may not be privy to every word). He’ll probably discover that his new sneakers are Nikes, not Sketchers (as he believes they are now), and that the hand held device that his friends have is a DSi, not a BSi. He’ll probably discover that sometimes kids are unkind, and he may get scared.
I wonder if Jesus thought similar (although more sophisticated) thoughts about his disciples when he sent them out into the world. I wonder if he reminisced about the first few years they spent together and hoped that His words would be the ones that would ring loudest in their ears. I wonder…
His most formidable and influential years are already gone, just like that. Tomorrow, I pray he will walk in the Truth when faced with adversity. I pray he will stand for what is right, and resist what is wrong. I pray he will allow the God of the universe to direct his path and ease his mind and calm any fear. I pray will be the salt and light of the earth. I pray he will be confident yet approachable, curious yet calm, motivated yet patient. I pray he will grow in the fullness of who God created him to be, and that he seeks that above ALL else. Tomorrow.
Yes tomorrow is going to be a great day, because I’m shedding all my tears tonight!