Tomorrow is the big day. My oldest son, Landon, is graduating from high school. I know it seems hokey to say it, but where did the time go? I remember his first day of kindergarten. He did fine. I cried all day and showed up a full hour early to wait in the car line to pick him up. Lame. I know.
Since that day, I am happy to report that I have not cried over sending him to school a single time. I fully expect to cry through his entire graduation ceremony tomorrow. I’m just being realistic. Ceremonies make me cry.
I cried at all his Cub Scout awards ceremonies. I cried when he won swimming medals. I cried when his dad baptized him in the swimming pool at the YMCA in Charlotte, North Carolina. I cried at his preschool graduation, his kindergarten graduation and his fifth grade graduation when his class sang, “I believe I can fly”. If I am completely honest, I am crying now as I write this blog.
Yes. Tomorrow, I will be toast.
I have never seen another kid so ready for life. While I will be crying, he will be whooping it up, ready to take the world by the horns. He’ll be sitting all antsy in his seat at graduation thinking, “Let’s hurry this thing up!” I’ll be savoring every word spoken, and trying not to let my blubbering embarrass my family.
I don’t cry because I am sad. Not really. Not this time. This time I am so excited for Landon to see the life God has planned for him. I see things slowly unfolding before him, and I see him eagerly stretching his wings to go meet those things. My tears tomorrow will be of joy and perhaps a little of nostalgia.
Four days after graduation, Landon will climb on a plane and fly across the big pond to England. He is joining other students and adult chaperones from our church on a mission trip to Birmingham, England for nine days. He’ll be sharing his faith with the hurting and discarded in that far off place. I am surprisingly calm about the whole thing.
I think of Hannah in the Old Testament. She had prayed hard for a baby. She prayed for a long time. Finally she told God that if he gave her a baby she would give it right back to him. So God gave her Samuel. True to her word, Hannah took the baby and gave him to the Priest to be raised in the temple. As a mom, I know how hard that must have been.
I have a dear friend who often tells me that her children have been her greatest blessing, but that they belong to the Lord. She means that. She has Hannah’s heart. As I feel the apron strings pulling loose from Landon, I too realize that my children are only mine for a time. They aren’t really mine at all. They’ve just been given to me for safekeeping. They belonged to the Lord long before I knew them.
My tears tomorrow will start long before the strains of Pomp and Circumstance reach my ears. My heart will be big and my joy even bigger. I know God has plans for Landon. Plans not to harm him, but to give him a hope and a future. What mom could ask for more?