My kids are into their second week of school already. Well my younger three are. My oldest child started college yesterday. Wow. That was something. Does this now make me officially old? I certainly hope not.
Anyway, earlier in the morning yesterday, I took my youngest child to his bus stop. It’s a few blocks from our house and on a busy road, so we drive him. Did I mention he’s the baby? Well, when the bus arrived, he hopped out of our car, and I watched him climb onto the bus. Before he got to the bus, he stepped around another, smaller, boy who was not quite sure he was ready to climb on board.
“Bless his heart”, I thought. There he was with his Sponge Bob backpack and Sponge Bob lunch box. His cute new clothes. (Sponge Bob t-shirt) By all appearances, he was ready for school. Yet he stood there as if his feet had been super glued to the road.
He turned and hugged his littler sister who stood there yawning in her Dora the Explorer nightgown and flip-flops. After the hug went on for about ten seconds, I realized he was no longer hugging her, rather he was clinging to her. He did not want to get onto that bus.
His mother gently encouraged him to let sister go and get on. He did let go of his sister. Then he latched onto his mother’s leg. All this while the bus driver and other students waited patiently on the bus. A little less gently now, his mom told him it was time to go. After all, he was ready. He had his new backpack and lunch box full of all the things any new kindergartener needs to tackle whatever kindergarten has to bring.
Still, he clung desperately to his mother’s leg. With more force now, his mother told him it was time to go. He had to go to school. About that time, the bus driver realized he was behind schedule, and he joined in the pleas for the boy to get on with it. His mom pried his arms from around her leg, and she moved him toward the bus. He fought her the whole way. Finally, he realized there was no winning, and most reluctantly, he climbed those big black steps onto that huge yellow bus. The doors shut, and the bus pulled away carrying that little boy off to school.
The sight of it all brought tears to my eyes both for the little boy and for his mother. Such a hard thing for the two of them. I am sure, more than anything, his mother wanted to scoop him up and carry him back home with her. But that’s not what a good mother does. Sometimes we have to play the part of the mother bird and push our babies out of the nest.
I mentioned that my oldest son started to college yesterday. Fortunately, I didn’t have to pry him off my leg to get him to go. Nope. He virtually ran to his car he was so excited to start on this new adventure. Armed not with a Sponge Bob backpack, but rather with his new Apple laptop, (College students cost more than kindergarten students.) I am really hoping he has all the tools he needs to be ready for what faces him in the next several months.
Motherhood is a precious endeavor from the first day of kindergarten to the first day of college and beyond.
As I watched that tearful young mother wave goodbye at the school bus yesterday, I wanted to jump out of my van and hug her. I wanted to tell her to savor every moment, even the painful one just past. Because before she knows it, that little fellow will be flying off to college and a part of her will wish he was still clinging to her leg instead.
We do so much as mothers to make sure that our children have all they need to succeed. Be it a new backpack for a kindergartener or a new laptop for a college freshman, we want our children to be prepared for the things this life will throw at them. As moms, we must remember that the best thing we can give them is a legacy of faith. For no one can provide for their them like their Heavenly Father who supplies for all their needs according to his riches in glory. (Phil 4:19)
When they stand steadfast in the love of their Heavenly Father, he will be their light and their salvation. Who (or what) shall they fear? (Ps 27:1) Nothing. Not one thing. Not a big yellow school bus that promises to take them away to the unknowns of kindergarten, not a big college campus with all the trappings to distract a young person from their calling, or anything in between. No, for the Creator of the Universe will hold them securely in his righteous right hand.