Kayla, Kindergarten and the Kingdom

by sarahmfry, September 23, 2007
She looked ravishing in her blue pleated skirt and white oxford with her new “lightening shoes” (Karissa’s term for the infamous light-up sneakers.)

I teach at the same school Kayla attends, so I did great seeing her make her nest in her little office. She wasted no time getting involved in a puppet show and giving a giddy rendition of Mary Had a Little Lamb for all of the teary-eyed Kindergarten moms still gathered. Her teacher gave us a survival kit consisting of Kleenexes and chocolate (cool teacher, huh?). Both came in handy.

It didn’t really get to me until I sneaked past the lunch room during her snack time. She was so solemn and grown up, sitting contentedly at the end of the table all by herself finishing off her apple in her little uniform.

Thankfully, she was sobered by the fate of some active boys in her class who had to miss 5 minutes of recess. I don’t have faith that she’ll stay scared. Her time’s a-comin’, I’m a-feared.

I’m not too thrilled with being thirty, and that sounds pretty old to be sending your first kid off to Kindergarten. But I realized that if God continues to bless our home with our desired number of children, I could quite possibly be having this experience every two or three years for the next decade or so! Eeww. Wonder what I’ll be like as a 40-year-old mom. I already miss my twenties, and they’ve only been gone for a few weeks!

While Kayla enjoyed the pleasures of kindergarten and learned that “I is for Indian”, I spent much of the day racking my thrice-baby-depleted brain for geometry theorems and trying to remember how to construct a bisector. I realized today that it has been over 12 years since I studied all that stuff. No wonder it made my brain tired to pull out those rusty files. I had to admit to a very dilligent student that although I got an A in Chemistry, I spent much of the lecture time planning my friend’s wedding instead of preparing to tutor it many moons years later! A word to the wise: Pay attention in Chemistry.

Back to Kindergarten: This milestone is very sobering to me. I am a firm believer that we are given the daunting privilege of “programming” our little ones in their first five years or so. Although I am fully aware that my work has only just begun with our eldest child– in a sense, I’ve already set the rails that we’ll be traveling on. Habits can be changed, I know. But I pray that as I look back and evaluate the programming we’ve done that I will celebrate the successes and learn from the mistakes.

We have an “18 list” that we have created to guide us through this kid-training. It’s a purposeful approach to raising kids in order to let them go. What must it feel like, to leave that dorm room and realize that your role has forever changed from constant trainer to available companion and advisor? And once again, I am reminded that I dare not attempt such a monstrous task without complete reliance on Someone who I knows what they’re doing when it comes to kids. It’s a wonder my kids even get their shoes on the right feet, with all my blunders. Come to think of it – they don’t, always. I kinda feel these days like I’m throwing mud on the walls (at least I hope that stuff on the walls is mud!) but I have to trust that line by line, precept by precept we’ll give them the tools they need.

I have come to the conclusion as I pray for my children that my deepest desire is not that God use them in some wonderful way to build His kingdom. My prayer is this: that they will Hunger for God. Long to know Him. Relish their time with Him. Seek to hear and understand Him. Live to obey Him. If that prayer is granted, the Kingdom will have its help.

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