Today, is big day in our house – a life changing day. Today, our youngest child got on a yellow school bus with his siblings and went off to kindergarten. We have now changed from a family where some are in school and some are at home to all are in school. We walked with the kids to the bus stop, stood there with other parents and their kids, exchanged pleasantries and saw that this was a life changing day for them too. It was the first day of school for their children – the first in their family. My wife offered some sage advice and answered some questions, based on being a very experienced mom (having done this three times before). The other mom cried as the bus rolled away.
My wife and I walked back to the house, we looked at each other and my wife said – “well, it took 12 years, but here we are.” We aren’t criers generally. There’s nothing wrong with crying. And yes, we could certainly have been excused for crying on such an occasion, but you know what – neither my wife or I felt the need to cry. Yes, it’s a big change and yes, it’s our last child going off to school. But we find that to be really exciting and a happy moment. It means the kids are growing up, learning, and are able to do things without us. We don’t have to be the entertainment committee all the time. I love my children and I want the best for them. And to me that means that they are able to do things without me if and when they want to. I don’t want to be in a situation that they need me for the rest of their life. I do want to be in a situation where they want to be around me though. There’s a big difference. Love is being willing to let go of the ones you love and recognize you might not get anything in return. But then again, you might get way more in return. It’s not about the return though. People aren’t investments that offer us returns. They are people. Even little people, like our kids.
I feel ever-blessed to have these four little people in our lives. I pray that God continues to guide our path because Lord knows, I’m just making up the rules of parenting as we go. I hope I don’t damage our children too much with my mistakes. I also hope that they feel loved and feel the freedom and support to do what is best for their lives as they grow.
But that’s all big thoughts and today is a day for celebration. A celebration of our youngest starting his formal education. A celebration that we’ve gotten to this point. A chance to spend time with my wife – just the two of us. Today is a celebration.