Thursday, August 10, 2017

When the First Day of School Isn't Facebook Perfect

Today is the first day of school in our area.  My Facebook feed is filled with beautiful little children all dressed up, smiles on their face, ready to begin a new year of learning and growth.  The emotions of their mothers range from tears at releasing that sweet little one to jubilant joy for a little down time in their lives.  But the common bond mothers share is that time goes by so fast. "Where did the time go?" is the question that each mom wonders. 

Reflecting back on some of my 'first day of schools' as a parent was fun!  I remember dropping my firstborn off with a toddler in tow, the first time I took them both to school and has some time to myself. Another baby came after they were well in the school years, those days were cherished spending the day at home with a baby.  When at last the baby went to school, it was emotional but opened up the door to work outside the home.  There is such a huge range of emotions through the years.  Words used to sum it up over the years would include - lonely, relaxing, busy, quiet, restful, anxious, excited, refreshing from one spectrum to the other has been covered!

This morning, the youngest is entering 11th grade.  It is a time when time with them is rapidly dwindling down and the need to pour into them and equip them for life is overwhelming.  Our first day of school today was no where near picture perfect.  Along the drive, my motherly advice on how to be the best you can be, to begin the new year with a great attitude was met with stoic silence and the teenager look of sheer boredom.  When I brought up the subject of a back to school picture, the idea was quickly shot down.  

So off to school for him and off to work for me. All those adorable pictures looked back at me, one after another.  How I miss those days when the children are younger and accept the mother's nurturing.  But, there is the time for them to grow, to be independent, to make mistakes and grow from them and to experience life out from mom's hovering care.  Instead of nurturing, this is the season of life to support, pray and encourage independence. 

In my office, I looked up on  a shelf and found a devotional calendar from years ago.  It had not been turned to in years.  Deciding to flip it to today's date, here was the most beautiful message:

"My mother was the source from which I derived the guiding principles of my life."  John Wesley

What a beautiful reminder of the timeless influence a mother has.  Seasons of life may change, but our influence remains for life.  So, it's back to school for us again, no picture but a purpose to influence and encourage and equip a future responsible adult to be. 

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