Thursday, August 28, 2014
First Day of School
The cool breeze suggested the beginning of Fall but the calendar read August 25th---still summer. Regardless of the season, the first day of school arrived again.
My daughter, now a sophomore, bounded down the stairs, the slight scent of powder trailing her. She looked at herself in the mirror, smoothed a couple stray hairs and adjusted her blouse. She then turned, peeked over her shoulder to check the final view from the back, and smiled. Satisfied, she joined me in the kitchen.
“Good morning, precious!”
“How are you?”
“I’m okay, thanks. Except I’m a little nervous about the new building. It might be tough to find my way around.”
“I understand,” I said.
More than thirty years have passed since I started my sophomore year in high school. How odd to remember the details to this day. I wore a blue uniform, and remember checking from the back to make sure my blouse collar was laying properly, my socks pulled up, my hair smoothed down.
My young man, now a high school senior, walked down the stairs a few minutes later. Confident and calm, he no longer resembled the little boy I used to escort to the bus stop.
“You ready to take it on?” I asked.
“Yup!” he said.
After breakfast, they each posed for the obligatory first-day-of-school photo. They know to stand in front of the door, so I can see how tall they’ve grown since last year. The photo tradition gives me a chance to capture the moment, hoping to make it stand still. Tears threatened, but I held off. My chickadees hadn’t left the house yet.
“Time to go,” I said. “Let’s put on the armor of God, okay?”
We had been reciting our personal version of Ephesians 6 since my son started Kindergarten.
“Thank you, Lord, that you give us the belt of truth…”
And we go through the hand motions putting on our invisible belts.
“And for the breastplate of righteousness…”
Hand-motions to strap on a chest plate.
“…and our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
Hand motions to tie on our shoes.
“Thank you, Lord, for our helmet of salvation, and the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Strap under the chin, then left arm bent at the elbow and lifted up to hold the shield.
“…And for the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
Right arm wielding a sword, ready to take it on.
And my two young adults walked out the door, stepping out of this momma’s nest to fly.
Letting go is not natural, but necessary.
I cried. The first day of school gets me every time. I think I need a box of tissues to go along with the armor.
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Lisa, I LOVE that you still put on the armor with them after so many years!! Way to go mom!! Protecting your kids in the best way before they leave your nest. -Steph
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