Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bitter Sweet

Breathe in and out. One step in front of the other. After all, this wasn't my first time on the merry go round. I lay in bed for hours. Trying to sleep. Drifting off and on. I swear I am more nervous for this than they are. I hear my alarm go off. How can it be time for this already. And I am not talking about breakfast. How can it be time to put my princess on a bus? How did I miss it?

First days are so very bitter sweet. What an exciting time. It is so sweet to see your children develop into their own person. For you to look at this little person and see the uniqueness and the passion for life.  It is so bitter though that they start to step away from you as they find this world.

It is so sweet to hear wonderful praises about your child. To hear how kind and compassionate they are to others. How they are making the world better just by bringing joy into it with their presence. But so bitter that you weren't there to see or hear it.
It is so sweet to watch them take their first steps into the world. To stand at the sidelines and cheer for them. To shout for joy with their accomplishments and wrap your arms around them in their disappointments. But so bitter to stand at a distance sometimes as you watch those steps. Bitter to know that disappointments will come sooner or later.
It is so sweet to learn to let go and trust. Trust that my children are in the hands of Another. That He will hold them in the palm of His hand. It is so sweet to trust that my children will carry my love for them in their hearts all the days of their lives. It is bitter though to know that I can't always control everything.

One the first day of school, I watch them. He is in second grade. Eating his waffles with his hair sticking up in the back even though I have tried to tame it. She is eating her English muffin with butter and cinnamon. Kicking her shiny black shoes and occasionally smoothing down her skirt. She is singing a song and he hums his own little tune. Oblivious to the life changing thoughts running through Mommy's head. I look at my sweet little babies growing up one moment at a time.

"Time to go," I say trying to chock back some tears. They put on their giant book bags. Smiling and ready to tackle the world....or at least the elementary school. Pictures and pictures. Then we get into the van. I walk them into the school. I notice Will is holding his book bag straps and not my hand as we walk in. That is ok....I guess. We stop in front of Rachel's class and I kiss her good-bye. As I let go of her hand but she takes my heart. I blink back tears and smile and wave. I pray that the kids will love her as much as we do and her teacher will think she hung the moon like I do.

I walk my boy to second grade. He reaches for my hand. Nervous. I squeeze his hand and tell him to watch where we are going so he can find his room. "Why?" he asks. "Because I didn't think I would walk you down here everyday." "Why not?" he asked. "I guess I could if you want," I told him. He looks up at me, something I treasure while I still can, and he smiles and says "I want." We arrive at his bright yellow classroom. I see familiar faces of his friends. I see little desks all lined up in a row. I know one of the desks is his. I hug him tight. Hold on for a second longer. He walks into his classroom, throws up his hands, and says "hello everybody." I chuckle as I walk away. As I walk through the halls, I pray for them. First for my children. I pray that for their health and safely. I pray that a passion for education will be instilled in their hearts. I pray that they let their light shine for everyone to see. That someday they could perhaps share their faith and love those who need it.

I walked into the school with two and now I climb into the van as one. I sit and buckle the seat belt. Suddenly everything gets so fuzzy. The tear slid down my cheek and onto my lap. My throat tightens and I gasp. Finally I let myself have my first day cry. I cry because first days are so bitter sweet. Bitter because I now sit here alone. But so sweet knowing how blessed I am to have these amazing kids in my life. Sweet to know how these children will touch the world. So very sweet to know that they will come home and still crawl up on my lap and tell me about their new friends, what they played, and what they learned. So bitter sweet.


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