Just Look...

Just Look...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Big Leap

Everyone is nestled all snug in their beds. The house is quiet, other than the television show Kraig is watching upstairs. And I'm sitting here, just thinking and worrying and praying.

I remember the night before Emma's first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday. I was a nervous wreck and I couldn't quit crying. I also couldn't let go of this feeling that everything mattered SO MUCH, that I had somehow not taken enough advantage of the years that brought us to that point and that the next day would shape the entire remainder of her educational career, both social and academic. My favorite story about Emma is one I think I have shared here before. We were on the way to her first day of kindergarten, and as we drove, I was talking to her (in child terminology) about the upcoming day, year, years. I told her how she represented us and Jesus, how she had a lot of education ahead of her so she might as well enjoy it, how the patterns she established there would last forever. and so on and so on. She was listening intently. After 8-10 minutes of my speech, I came to the end and paused, expecting some sort of 5 year old's affirmation of my words of wisdom. Instead, this is what piped from the backseat as she gazed out the window: "Mommy, it's so foggy out there, I can hardly see those cows." Well. OK. Good talk. ;)

I gave a similar talk tonight, but this time it wasn't to an adorable 5 year old safely strapped into the carseat in the back seat of my car. This time it was to 3 teenagers headed alone into an unfamiliar educational system in a new country with a strange tongue and different culture. It was to that 5-year-old-somehow-turned-freshman-in-high-school headed into the last four years under my roof, years that I know will go by so quickly I won't even have time to think twice. It was to a 7th grader whose entire world has changed in the past 6 weeks and who has proven that she has compassion, gentleness, long-suffering, and "momming" inside her in quantities I never would have imagined possible in a child of 12.

And this time, I don't think my talk fell on deaf ears. Faces were serious and I suspect hearts were pounding. And if no one else's was, mine was. Mine is. Because we are now truly into the years where lives are shaped and revealed. Everything DOES matter so much. And the time left is so, so short. I am not a person who believes that teen years are something to dread. I loved mine and I have loved the teen years of my kids so far and expect to love the rest of them. But I do know how high the stakes are. I have seen so many kids lose sight of who and Whose they are over the years. And I have seen so many kids marginalized. And nothing breaks my heart any more.

I told my 5 tonight, especially my new 3, there will be kids who WANT to help you and be your friend. And there will be other kids who want to hurt you and be mean to you. The most important thing of all is that YOU aren't the one who is mean. Second to that, find friends who make you a better person and skirt those who seem bent on making life hard for others. But please, whatever you do, find SOMEONE. Find SOMETHING to be part of.

I have spent two nights dreaming off and on of my new 3 sitting alone in the cafeteria, of my daughter not talking to a soul from 7:50-2:50 every single day, and it kills me inside. I want so much for people to see the Angela we all know and love, the funny girl with the quirky personality. I want people to hear Roman's wit and revel in his beautiful smile. I need people to understand Francisco's enthusiasm and joy. And more than anything, I think I am terrified that all the bonding and attaching and growing we have all done over the past 6 weeks might be undone by time at school. That is my biggest fear. I'm scared that Emma and Kelsey will get wrapped up in their friends and outside lives and forget the ways we all became a family of seven this summer. I'm scared that Francisco will become cynical, that we will lose Roman, and that Angela will turn inward.

It's funny, I have always been so nervous about the first day of school for myself. This year, I have hardly given it a thought because all of my emotion and nerves are wrapped up in other people. I hope and pray that this is a post I look back on and chuckle. "How silly of me to have been so worried!" "God brought them this far, why would I have ever thought He would leave them here?" "It's so crazy to read this post and then realize how EASY this school year was for everyone!"

But whatever the outcome, I know that we have One who will be walking this path beside us. And I know that a whole army of prayer warriors are lifting all 7 of us up in the coming days and weeks. And I know that a community of people, from middle school age kids to adults, have offered support and love and assistance to us. I have to believe that there are more people in this world who want to improve the lives of others than there are who want to make them difficult. And I also have to believe that God has sent and is sending those people into our paths right this very moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment