Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Day Cookies

The first day of school can be exciting for the kids, but we moms have our own roller coaster ride of emotions to handle.

In my world, this was the first day of a new stage of first days. My baby is now a high school freshman and my older child a junior. Why, then, did it feel like the first day I sent both of them to the elementary school?

Way back when, I started a “first day” tradition of baking cookies to greet my children when they came home. The cookies and milk were the perfect accompaniment to their stories about their teachers, new friends and classroom expectations. I think I started it more for me than them, not to eat the cookies but to savor the joy of hearing those stories. Okay, maybe to have a cookie or two. A dozen years later, we still shared the after-school cookie moment yesterday. This time, their stories reflected their personalities and wisdom. It’s not just about the nice teacher or what it takes to get the grade, but also the environment in the classroom, their personal goals, and mostly their motivation to thrive in the new year.

This year, though, after they gave me their updates and headed to their rooms to start homework, I cried. I hadn’t done that since my baby went to first grade. Back then, the tears were the first of many which I changed to prayers. In that place, where I needed to trust that my kids are okay, is where I learned to trust God.

I cried for the times in the near future when I know I won’t be there in their college dorm with a dish full of cookies and ears ready to listen to those first day stories in person. (Yes, that would be weird.)

I cried with the recognition that I have to let go even more to allow my children the experience of growing up.

I cried about the speed with which these years have flown by. I know, I know, everyone says time goes by quickly, but high school crept up before I felt ready.

And I prayed again. Remembering God got me through all those elementary years, I am confident God will help me through these high school years, too.
Philippians 4:6-8
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Thank you, God, for the promise of your peace, especially now that my babies are in high school.