Twas the night before Kindergarten and a very anxious and excited little boy was fighting sleep. He used every excuse in the book to stay awake but he finally got to me when he said he was scared about his new school. We prayed, again, I read the book "The Night Before Kindergarten," again, and then recited his (and my) favorite memory verse, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in God." It helped put us both at ease.
The morning came and a wake up call from his favorite Kindergarten teacher and aunt along with his cousin helped get him up and at'em. But he wasn't jumping out of bed, mostly because he was just tired from having been up past his bedtime. That didn't stop him from being his typical "full-of-himself" Eli.
Then we headed to school. I was a ball of nerves the whole way there. I felt ridiculous for being emotional. I kept checking on him and he was quiet, serious. Not his usual self. I'm not going to lie - I fought back tears as I left him sitting at his desk. His nervous little look didn't help. "Mom, are you staying the whole day?" he asked. I assured him I'd be in the building and back to pick him up in just a few hours. He was trying to be brave so I tried to be too.
After the parents toured the school and had opportunity for Q&A, I had a much calmer demeanor. As I stood in the gym waiting for my car rider, I was delighted when he came running and shouting, "MOMMY!" He was smiling from ear-to-ear, dimple and all, and my heart was happy. The peace I had so earnestly prayed for was finally washing over me.
As if that wasn't enough, as we headed out the door, he stopped and said bye to a little boy. I looked at the boy and then up at his mom. We both seemed to exchange smiles of relief. "Did you make a new friend," I asked. They both nodded and then Eli gave him a hug. It was the moms turn to introduce ourselves and laugh off the worries of the day. One thing I had specifically prayed for was for God to give him a friend. I don't know if this little guy will be the answer to that prayer, but it was at least God's way of telling me, "Carrie, I told you, I've got this!" Yes, yes He does.
Eli is still getting used to his new school. He told me at bedtime he wanted to be a Tiger and not a Bee (change of mascots). I suppose I don't blame him. Although he was practicing Tiger growls and Coyote howls while he was once again supposed to be sleeping. I'd be much happier if he were practicing the softer buzz of a bumbling bee. Or sleeping. Yes, I'd much rather that.
I'm not the mom who doesn't want her son to grow up. I'm not the one wishing time would stand still. That's not why I've been emotional about all of this. If I had to sit down and truly pinpoint my roller coaster emotions it's that I want the very best for my boy. I want him to grow up and succeed and achieve. I want him to learn and grow and experience. I want him to make friends and develop. But at the heart of ALL of this, my deepest desire is for him to become all that God created him to be.
You see, I'm keenly aware of the fact that I had NOTHING to do with creating him. I can't take one ounce of credit for bringing him into the world so surrendering him to God for his whole life isn't exactly the issue. It's wanting to make sure he fulfills that which he was created for, and that is another area of surrender. I have to find my rightful place that God has entrusted and created me for. Fulfilling my responsibility to train him up in the way he should go, to teach him scripture and pray over him and leave the rest to the God who breathed His very own breath into his lungs while fashioning his body and planning all the days of his life, even today, the first day of Kindergarten.