Joy in the Journey: Thoughts on the First Day of School
Joy in the Journey!
The tear ran down the left side of her face. It was almost imperceptible as she stared blankly at the table in front of her. I had bounded up to her table at the annual “Boo-Hoo, Ya-Hoo” social on the first day of school and took a seat. I anticipated that she was excited to have her daughter start kindergarten and was looking forward to the start of the school year and to some free time each day. A second look at this mom and I knew I had missed it.
I thought she was a “Ya-hoo!” and she was a “Boo-Hoo!”
This young mother was grieving this benchmark of her daughter’s life. Her five year old was entering school for the first time and it was more traumatic for mom than for daughter! She was committed to Christian schooling at LCS, happy for the opportunities ahead for her only child, but the separation was harder than anticipated.
Roots and wings
Life for a parent sometimes feels like a roller coaster. Even when you can look down the tracks and anticipate the dips and sharp turns it feels like a surprise when you get there! We are constantly adjusting the balance between anchoring them in their home and values- roots- and cautiously expanding their range of independence- wings. This juggling act lasts a lifetime and presents a particularly novel dimension when they leave home to forge a life of their own.
Today some will post pictures of their child on their first day of school. Others will post a picture of their student heading out for the first day of their senior year. The time between these two days is far shorter than anticipated when standing outside the kindergarten classroom door! Perhaps a little of that awareness was behind the gentle tear traveling down the mother’s cheek on that first day of school.
So, what’s a mother (and father) to do?
- Resolve to enjoy the journey. Don’t let the occasional rough spots in the road rob you of the adventure of the trip.
- Make good friends along the way. We don’t travel this path alone. There are other parents, teachers, students, and families that will enrich the experience. Some will become friends for a lifetime.
- Take a “forever” perspective on the present. Realize that we live our lives in the presence of our loving Heavenly Father who does all things well for our eternal good. The highs and lows of life in our broken world are to be understood in the context of an eternal perspective. That orientation can be ours as we invest ourselves in the study and application of God’s Word with the help of His people in His church.
So whether today is a “boo-hoo” or “ya-hoo” day in your home, be assured that we will walk this year together. There is joy in the journey!
Here we go! Have a great year!