Tomorrow, my oldest, the one who made me a mommy, goes to school (insert those dramatic emoji’s crying their eyeballs out of their sockets).. I’ve been dreading tomorrow for the entire summer, reading articles about red-shirting (the process of holding your child back a year when they are born later in the year and thus younger in their class) and wondering if I am royally screwing up by not keeping my little Pickle home for another year. Over the course of this summer, every time I’ve looked into her sweet little face, still sporting its baby chub and held her sticky little hands in mine, I’ve opened my mouth, the words “I’m going to miss you so much when you go to school” – right at the tip of my tongue, and instead blurted out “I’m so excited for you to go to school”, forcing an excited smile and watching her face light up as she starts daydreaming about learning her “ABCD’s” at school and that she’s a big girl like “Bella” – her cousin and one of her personal heroes. While yes, I will miss her, so much, I don’t want my own emotions, to in any way, take away from this very exciting new thing for her. I don’t want for her to in any way feel as though this new season of independence is in any way negative.
From that first moment we hold that little Wonder in our arms, we thank God for them and beginning the process of letting them go and equipping them to be independent of us and dependent on God and confident as they realize His plans and purposes for them. As I packed her “My Little Pony” lunch bag tonight I thought about the first time I held her, the way my whole life seemed to have led me to that moment, each of my girls, holding them, feeling a love that made my heart ache. I wanted, in that moment, to protect them from ever feeling hurt, ever seeing the ugly things of this world, ever experiencing pain or loss. I remember shortly after having Pickle becoming overwhelmingly fearful. I started looking up self-defense courses and countries with low-crime ratings. It was a dangerous slope and one I’m sure a lot of moms and dads can relate to. God gently-led (and leads) me through that time, showing me that I was being led by fear and not faith and trust in Him. When we dedicated our girls to Christ, it was a sign of yes, raising them up in the way that they should go, but also releasing them into something bigger than us. When we become parents, we become teachers and trainers, training our children to be their own, unique, individual person. Yes, tomorrow will be hard, I very much want to freeze time, almost daily. But, my excitement for Pickle and all that she will learn and the ways that she will grow, helps me to have peace, even in all of the changes of this season. Our children are not our property, they are a gift from God, but we hold onto them for a season, and then we share that gift with the world, my little pumpkin is a light and I cannot wait to see the way she shines beyond the walls of this little home we’ve made for her and her sisters. Now… If anyone needs me… I’ll be sobbing over a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Cherries Garcia while watching a montage of my baby girl played to some sappy song about dancing with Cinderella.
Pray I don’t become that mom peaking through the Kindergarden class-window… all. day. long. (Only half kidding.. as I typed that it seemed like a great idea was unfolding)