The past five days have been an unexpected roller coaster of emotions. On Thursday I went from being ready for kindergarten to start (Go ahead and take him, teach him, do what needs to be done - I'll be back at 3pm!), to feeling my inner mama hen snake alarm going off (Stay back! You can't have my baby! I'll home school, thanks!) No, I won't actually be homeschooling him, but the thought did cross my mind.
Thursday evening was "meet the teacher" night and needless to say, it was a bit traumatic for me. A year ago at my son's pre-k meet the teacher night, I went from panicking about the school year to absolute peace that my son was going to have a great year. And he did! He absolutely thrived. This year I went expecting it to be just as perfect (even though it's at the public school instead of our church) and well, it wasn't.
Nothing big or dramatic happened; it was just one of those days when all the little things start adding up. The parking lot was full so we had to park along the busy highway and walk to the school. The hallways were as crowded as a concert with almost no room to walk or breathe. We also got lost in that maze of hallways while trying to find my son's classroom.
There were no instructions or handout about how things will work like parking, drop-off and pick-up lines. I asked my son's new teacher about it and her answer was that she didn't know since she has no kids of her own to take to school. She said that they'll probably address it in the Parent Orientation that is scheduled for the second week of school. The second week of school. Shouldn't these things be addressed BEFORE the school year begins? Sigh.
I'll probably regret saying this later, but I'm also a bit worried about the teacher my son will have. She seems really sweet so it will probably all be just fine in the end, but we got the fresh-out-of-college girl with no teaching experience. I was hoping for another teaching veteran who was a proven champ with the sometimes (always?) challenging kindergarteners. I know that everyone has to start somewhere to gain experience, but no one ever really wants to be the guinea pig that gives them that experience! That's why people always hunt for the best surgeon - no one wants to be cut on by the newbie, and no mom wants to leave their child all day with an inexperienced caregiver!
So after the initial panic attack of being overwhelmed and wondering if I'm doing the right thing, my mind began to settle. When I registered my son at the school in June it felt right. Everyone was so nice and friendly, and when I walked into the office the first thing my eyes focused on was a Christian Scentsy tart warmer glowing nicely on the desk. It was as if God were telling me that my decision to send my son to public school was okay and that there are Christians there too, especially in the very conservative town I live in.
I also remembered that moms send their children to school each year and their kids are still in one piece when they pick them up everyday at 3pm. Just because the teacher is new doesn't mean that my child will automatically end up on a milk carton. If that were common then no one would send their children to school! Lastly, I had asked every person I knew that has children at that school and they could only say great things about it. Over reacting a bit? Yup, that was me.
I think this is my latest test of faith. I wasn't expecting it, but that is how tests work sometimes. It's God's version of a pop quiz. It sometimes may be hard to trust Him when it's our children...my only child...but that is probably a mother's greatest test of faith - her children. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of his faith in Genesis 22. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for Abraham to obey, but he did and he was greatly rewarded for it. I imagine that Abraham cried with joy when that angel stopped him. I doubt he cared if he was rewarded at that point, because keeping his son alive and safe was surely enough reward for him.
I'm trusting God that he will keep my son safe and give him a wonderful school year. It's hard for a parent not to worry about their children when they are away, but if God knows the hairs on our heads, surely he is watching over our children.
The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out
and thy coming in from this time forth,
and even for evermore.
- Psalm 121:5-8 (KJV)
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