Remember your child's first day of kindergarten? When my first was ready to go, I was okay with it. It was hard to believe my baby girl was big enough for kindergarten, but she was in my school, so I could cope well enough.
Then a few years later, her baby sister, my BABY was off to her first day of kindergarten. She was in the class next door to mine and it was still REALLY hard. I had wanted so badly to spend a year home with her, but had lost them all to day care (although she was with THE BEST, a very close, very dear friend.) So she was off to school and my heart was sad. Still...I don't think there were any tears.
Today was my girls' first day back to school. Meg went off to 7th and Alli began 4th grade. Meg in 7th BLOWS MY MIND. But 4th grade? Just another year. Not a major landmark in my thinking. But for whatever the reason, Alli was nervous. Her first day of 4th grade and she was SO nervous. She would go from talking ninety-miles-a-minute to laughing, to complaining that she was feeling sick. I'd tell her she was going to be fine and to just breathe slowly so her tummy would calm. The usual stuff. She was clearly not sick, but had some nerves.
We start driving to the school. About a block, maybe two, down the road, she's telling me she's carsick. I assure her she couldn't be carsick, that it's just nerves, and to keep breathing like I'd told her. Nice and slow, etc. Again she vacillates between excited talking and nervous complaints. At one point when she was feeling good, she told her sister to keep track of whichever kids weren't nice to her and to let her know...implying that she'd take care of the situation and those kids would KNOW to be nice to her big sister. It was very cute.
We get to school and I tell her to get out of the car. She doesn't move. So I look at her and she's holding a hand to her mouth, trying to will herself not to get sick. I wait and try to reassure her. Finally she gets out, gives me a big smile for my camera, walks around the car and then...well we won't be graphic, but let's just say it wasn't pretty.
So I debate...do I take her home? I mean, she just got sick. But then, I think it's only nerves, so maybe sticking it out would be better...get beyond the nerves, you know? Well she starts looking better and tells me she's feeling better. I walk her into her class, let her teacher know she's been sick from nerves. The teacher is reassuring to her and Alli starts settling in. Now what happens to Mom???? I start to cry. Not wailing, mind you, but I'm choked up and fighting back the tears.
How does that work? How is it that our kids are tied so tightly to our hearts that seeing my little girl nervous over her first day of school shook me to the point of tears. I don't know how it works, but you know...I'm glad it does. I'm glad for those heartstrings and wouldn't have it any other way.
So anyway, I gave her hugs and kisses and saw she didn't need me and off I go. THEN the tears really came. So what did I do??? I called my mommy. (Apparently those heartstrings are still intact, too.)
Before I called her though, I thought, "You know, Satan...you're not going to win. This is going to be a positive day whether you like it or not. Because this is going to be a great year, whether you like it or not!" Then I called my mommy, finished crying, and pulled in to my school.
And you know what? It WAS a positive day. I can't remember a first day in years where I haven't felt really overwhelmed...frustrated...even somewhat panicked. I didn't feel that at all today. And this evening? I wasn't a major success. Things ran later than I'd like, but kids' homework got done, food into bellies, hugs and kisses passed all around, and now they lie sleeping peacefully, recharging for another day of learning and growth...and loving.
I can't believe how blessed I am. If I lived the rest of my life without another blessing besides that of two little girls that have been entrusted to me, I could still say I am blessed beyond measure.
And one more thought occurs to me. About those heartstrings.... If we feel so strongly about our own children, can you begin to imagine what God feels for us. His heartstrings were so tight He sent Christ to provide salvation for us.
Incredible. WAY more than hmmmmm....