It doesn't feel like almost 10 months passed since I was freaking out and having my helicopter mom moment. The year has brought its share of challenges. It's also brought growth and change.
Kindergarten hasn't been easy. There have been trips to the principal's office, meetings with the guidance counselor, notes home, parent/teacher conferences... Let's just say it's been and adjustment to personalities and behaviors and expectations of the classroom.
There have also been accomplishments, like being able to read. It still amazes me to be able to listen to him read something and see the wonder on his face as he takes pride in himself and the world he's discovering. There's been recognition of a most creative and intuitive little boy, "too smart for his own good," some have remarked. Maybe... There have been memories and friendships made. Kindergarten is the first milestone in his education. Everyone got an award, more like a superlative, and in his class they all related to pieces of candy. Eli's "Jawbreakers" award went to he and another student for, as the teacher put it, "never, ever, ever, ever, EVER being at a loss for words." This very "accomplishment" got him in trouble most days. I'm sure if you ask my mom she will tell you the same thing got me in trouble most days...
I think we've all learned a lot this year. I learned I can't control everything. I can't control outcomes. I can't be there every single day to make my son sit down or pay attention or stop talking. I also can't protect him from the Kindergarten spats he sometimes complained about, so and so said this, someone else did that. Nothing traumatic, but significant enough to him at this point in his life. We faced every emotion in one year. Like the day he ran out of the school jumping up and down screaming "I got on Plus 2!" to the day I got the call from the principal saying she had Eli in her office and the reason he got in trouble was because, as he told her, it was "too cold to be good" she said through laughter.
All of it has taught me more about my role, the role I set out knowing in the beginning, the role of turning him over to The Lord all the days of his life. The reminder came in full force as we tucked him into bed on the last day of Kindergarten, the first night of summer break. We finished our normal routine with devotions and prayer time when he shared, "Mom, did you know I have Jesus in my heart?" He talked of his love for God. Childlike faith. It wasn't anything he had learned in Kindergarten. The public school system had certainly not taught him this. This was him speaking from his heart. The entire conversation was wrapped up in life lessons and things he's been taught at home and church, things I pray he sees in me and the godly examples in our family.
My little jawbreaker who is never at a loss for words is also never at a loss for surprising us with the tender heart he has. The lessons he's learning go so much deeper than the basics of school. Just like the world he is discovering by being able to read, the world he's discovering by being able to see things through the eyes of Almighty God, his Father and Creator, is becoming personal. It's not just something we talk about, it's Someone he is coming to know and understand.
This year hasn't gone exactly as I planned but the last day of Kindergarten was more than I could have hoped. I can't control any of it. I can only pray that what he hears becomes what he learns and what we live in front of him will continue to become personal all the days of his life.
Let the summer begin!