For two weeks they came. Every day the tears flowed down my cheeks. I tried to hide them from our son knowing that at his sensitive age my fear, anxiety and hesitation could easily light on him and that, I did not want.
As the days of the calendar ticked by closer and closer to August 19th, I struggled to keep my emotions in check. My heart felt like a desert, dry and lifeless at times and other times I was overcome by raw emotion, nagging thoughts of failure and the intense agony of letting go. A few stressful days led to tears that just would not stop and my husband found me sitting in the camper sobbing dreadfully.
Failure. Loser. Wasted time. Passing the buck. Not good enough.
All these words were swirling in my mind and I couldn't help but feel like I had given up, failed our son and that our family was just about as dysfunctional as it could get. Inside, I felt like I was about to lose my baby boy because God had somehow changed directions on me.
So I took a little break from the blogging world. It felt good to stop trying to encourage faceless people on the internet and just be wife and mom for a few weeks……
And then it came….
August 19, 2015
With little pomp and circumstance, the first day of Preschool came quietly. I got up extra early, cried some silent tears, made breakfast and packed a lunchbox. 1 down, 179 to go.
So this family of 3 and a dog headed to a small Christian school campus tucked nicely off the main road amidst trees and a view of the valley from behind the building. Just 44 families yet to this mom it seems so big for my little boy.
As we assembled in the cafeteria waiting to be dismissed to the pre-k room, Wyatt immediately searched out friends he'd made last year when we tested the waters of private education. And as we walked to the classroom he was quick to offer guidance to the new families who weren't sure which way to go. He knew the procedures, he knew the doors and the “right way” to go. My little leader.
His teacher met us all with a smile and the room was inviting to a child's eye and smelled like fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. I watched two other boys cling to their moms, unsure of a new year, new faces and for one – a whole new school. The moms did their best to comfort their boys and I could see the sadness in one of the mom's eyes. That struggle within between knowing this is right and yet not wanting to put him through the stress and tears of that moment walking away.
I reached to give my little guy a brush of the hair and there was no one at my side. He was off exploring the new additions to the room, making new friends and showing a new girl where they have reading time. At that moment it hit me. My sadness was not only the death of a dream and the pains of a mom whose little boy is growing up. Intertwined in my emotions was the realization that my son did not need me.
I wanted to linger, I wanted to hold him, say the pledges and maybe sit a little with him, but he was fine. A kiss, a hug and one final kiss before he ran away and that was it. I walked across the parking lot fighting tears realizing that this was another one of many letting go moments I'm going to face.
I remember distinctly a vision I had two years ago when Wyatt was leaving with his Daddy. He turned at the bottom of the steps, looked up, waved, and say, “Goo-bye, Wuv-ee Mommy.” In that moment I had a vision of him as a 20-something still as blue-eyed and blonde headed as ever, voice a bit deeper, turning to say goodbye as he headed off. God said, “He is in the palm of my hand.”
It was a reminder that my son is not mine. He's God's, bestowed to my husband and I to teach, train and disciple in the ways of the Lord. My plans are not His plans and as best I try to hold on I know I must let go over and over again.
I am still a mom, depended on daily. But in the process of getting ready for school, I was no longer needed the moment he kissed me goodbye. I had done my job, now God was going to do His – keeping Wyatt in the palm of His hand. I believe God has called Wyatt to be a warrior for Him, a light, and leader in this world and it is starting with the Preschool classroom.
Letting Go Moments
Mom, as much as you are needed, moments will come when you are not. And you'll have to let go.
There will be moments when they come into their own, working on the calling God has placed on their lives. When the hours of driving to dance practice turn into a performance that only they and God can do and you sit and watch your baby do amazing things. Moments when you see in them something you never thought you would. Moments when your heart both swells and breaks at the same time.
I used to think this was a far off time. Like maybe when they start driving but probably when they graduate college and definitely when they get married. But Mom, these moments come again and again if we watch for them. God gives us time, little by little, to get used to the idea that they really aren't ours, but His. And they are in the palm of His hand.
As much as August 19th hurt me, my spirit knows this is right for this season. As a friend said, “who knows, you could be homeschooling by Christmas!” I will take one season at a time. And I will cherish the moments he still wants me to kiss his piggie-toes and cuddle in the middle of the night. I've been there, when it's so hard being a mom you wish you could make it all go away. But don't neglect the moments that you'll cherish forever. Days of a house filled with constant yelling for Mom will one day come to pass and you'll realize your role as Mom has changed.
I'm still fighting the feeling that I've failed as a homeschool mom even though I believe God has ordained Christian school for Wyatt this year. To be in God's will and feel so lousy….that isn't often talked about.
Raise them up and send them out as disciples into the world so their light can shine. Let them be who God has called them to be, not what you planned.