As our summer draws to a close this week I find myself warring between various emotions. My oldest starts kindergarten this week and if I’m honest, a large part of me is relieved but another part of me is unsure of this new transition. Will he like it? Will he behave? Will he find close friends? Will he be able to stay awake all day 5 days a week? Will he want to go everyday? Will he have homework? How will he act when he gets home? Will we be able to enforce an early bedtime?… on and on the questions go. I also fear he will suffer from PTSD from the playground…the rejection, the teasing, the nasty attitudes that are often commonly found within a group of kids.
If you know me at all, you know that my oldest and I are quite opposite. God saw it fit to give me a very strong son who knows what he wants and is often very creative to find ways to achieve his goals. He likes to plan his days and seems to find joy in constructing plans for us all to follow. And then there’s me: I’m a quintessential good girl – go with the flow, don’t rock the boat, take a very long time to make a simple decision for fear that I may anger someone. He requires me to plan ahead and think things through. So when I am feeling tired, the thought of him being in a structured environment like school sounds easier for both of us.
But recently, it seems I am taking in an equal amount of relief and grief with every breath.
For I remember what summer felt like 6 years ago before the birth of my son. I longed to have a baby I could call my own. A baby that could call me mom. We were anxiously awaiting the adoption of our son that summer. By God’s grace we were blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby boy that we amazingly got to call ours six months later. A boy that now will walk among his peers without us right there to protect him, guide him, and love on him. I realize he’s not going to college or anything and perhaps I’m being too melodramatic but he and I have been used to living shoulder to shoulder for the past 6 years. But as of this Thursday, he will be living shoulder to shoulder with his peers for 7 hours a day 5 days a week. And much to my surprise, that thought brings me to tears.
My prayer for him as he enters Kindergarten goes something like this:
God, in Your great mercy and grace, walk alongside my son as he walks down the school hallways. Love on him as he encounters his peers and allow him to pour out Your love to others. Go ahead of him and provide him with at least one friend who can be a safe place for him and a companion. Guide him as he starts to learn the basics of school. Protect him as he will likely encounter situations that are difficult, hurtful, or painful. Give him perseverance to continue to try those tasks that are not easy. Allow him to be proud of his heritage as our son through adoption and protect him from feeling shame. Paul concludes my prayer nicely:
” … And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the LORD’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all of the fullness of God.”
Regardless of what happens at Kindergarten, my hope and prayer is that my son will start to sense the immeasurable love of God on a daily basis. And I pray that I will be able to continually entrust my son to my Father and believe as Paul believed:
2 Timothy 1:12
“…because I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”
The truth is that God loves my son more than I can and He is big enough to walk with him through anything he will face. My brain knows that, I think I just need my heart to be reminded of that truth. For those of you who have or will have kids starting something new this fall, my prayers are with you. I pray that you will find peace as you daily entrust your children to the only One fully capable.