I just finished a book about two mothers raising their daughters. And while the book didn't really do much for me, it did get me to thinking about the upcoming school year....2012/2013...the first year I have an elementary child. I haven't thought too much about it really. Gavin will turn 6 the first week of school and I actually feel that he is quite ready for Kindergarten and will love having something he does everyday. He loves routine, he is pretty social and he is sooooo interested in learning (and with a mother that has the tolerance and patience of a gnat when it comes to answering questions, school will be wonderful). So I was feeling pretty good about putting on the backpack and waving him off.
Enter said book. It made me stop and consider the fact that we are entering territory where Gavin will no longer be protected by me. His feelings, his actions, his questions, will no longer be filtered with me by his side, to explain, protect and comfort. It rocked me a bit. I know many moms think about this long before Kindergartern, but well, it really just entered feild of focus.
I don't really write about Gav much, because well...he's just a relatively easy goin' kid. Sure, he has his share of funny stories, he has his meltdowns (especially when tired), he is overdramatic about injuries (think amputation theatrics over stubbed toes), but all in all...he doesn't rock the boat. Gavin is sweet, he is considerate, he usually thinks through his actions, he is a rule follower, black and white and well...a bit of a type A people pleaser. Out of all my kids, I understand his thought process the best (so far, I am definitely not banking on this forever, but I am thankful for it now) and parenting him as been a little bit easier for me...not better or worse, just easier.
Anyway...suddenly I am confronted with the fact that he is going to have outside influences confronting him everyday. I am still trying to process this. New friends, new ideas, new words, new attitudes...Oy!
The biggest thing weighing on my heart is the friendships he is going to make. Oh how badly I want him to make "that" friend. The one he can trust, the one he can call, the one who will choose right and encourage him to do the same. But if he doesn't...I want him to have a faith strong enough to carry him and give him the strength to stand alone. It breaks my heart to even think about the latter, but being honest with myself, I am sure there will be a time each of my children will need that prayer.
I am not even sure how to pray for myself, to be the mom I need to be during these next years. To help my children and I to have open communication, to be someone they trust, to listen to them and have them feel heard, to make the tough calls even when 'all the friends are doing it, have one, or are getting one', to be the mom I need to be. Strength, compassion and wisdom that I cannot begin to fathom are going to be needed.
My sweet boy is getting to big kid teeth. They are coming up and moving in...pushing out the baby teeth on the front bottom. I was so excited to wiggle those loose teeth, but looking at the big boy ones behind them just reminded me of what's happening. Once the baby teeth are gone...they're gone. The new ones are permanant. Barring any accidents or face punches...they are hear to stay.
When I watch him wiggle his tooth I am reminded just where we are at...going back and forth between baby and big boy, just about to fall out into a routine that will be permanant for the next 12-16 years.
I could be scared if I start dwelling on it too much, but I believe God has given me a grace in being able to let go a bit on this one. Do I have anxiety? Am I nervous? Yes and yes. But overall, I am just grateful I serve a God who has given me such a precious child and that He is reminding me daily that He loves Gavin more than I do. Hard to fathom, but true.
And while I do get overwhlemed at the idea of feilding a whole new realm of parenting...I am trying to focus hard on the two great gifts...Gavin and a God that has amazing plans for his life!