"Sons [and daughters] are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him." Psalm 127:3 (NIV)
I forced myself out of bed at the sound of Rob's urging this morning, realizing that my summer schedule was over. Today was a big day--I am officially the mother of a middle schooler! Tell me it isn't so. I can't be old enough to have a child in sixth grade, can I? Then I went over to the mirror to splash water on my face to wake me up. I hate mirrors! It told me, LOUDLY, that indeed I was old enough to have a middle schooler. I sighed as I turned away from my reflection.
I remember the butterflies I had at the start of every new school year growing up. Unlike my husband who lived in the same town and went to school with the same people through elementary, middle school, and high school, I had been in eight different school settings by the time I walked across a stage to get my diploma. I dreaded each new change, being pretty shy by nature. I did not relish the fact that I was the new girl, having to make friends all over again. I think that every missionary kid can relate to that rootless feeling.
Today I prayed for a good beginning for Chase. More than one friendly face to sit with. I prayed for peace against the anxiousness of being in an unfamiliar building and not having a routine to rely on. I prayed against feelings of inferiority, self-consciousness, and feeling out-of-place. And overall, I prayed that my sweet, courageous boy would take the Word of God which he has hidden in his heart and live it out.
Today was far more emotional for me than I thought it would be. I had friends who sobbed their eyes out when they walked their children to kindergarten for the first time. Having three children in three and a half years may be the reason why I did not do that. But today, as I drove away from the parking lot, I suddenly found tears in my eyes at the thought of how quickly time is flying by. Three years from today, he will start high school. Seven years from today and he will be making his way out the door to climb into a packed car with all the independence he could wish for.
There is a poem I ran across when I was pregnant with Jordyn about how quickly this time is going. It still brings tears to my eyes and is a good reminder to live in the moment with my son while I still have him here. I need to take the time while I have it.
For life is short, the years rush past.
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
his precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away.
There are no more games to play.
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear--
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands once busy now lie still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I might go back and do
The little things you asked me to.
Jesus, my children are a gift. I can become so busy, so self-absorbed, with my own schedule and agenda. These three quickly-sprouting precious ones will be on their own one day. Help me to treat them with utmost care. Help them know that this mama that loves them so much is sorry for failing to listen as I sometimes do. Give me the wisdom to see that those requests for another game of hide and seek, a snuggle on the couch, or a game of kickball (You know how I hate to sweat!!), are so important for me to fulfill. Those are ways I communicate to them how important they are to me. I need to make the time for what is important to them. Thank you that every day is new. Help me to treasure them above anything else in my life. I can't take any material possession with me to heaven. But I will have my children with me in heaven for eternity. Help me, help me, please God, help me make the most of these days that I have these gifts from You with me.