Thursday, May 19, 2016
On your preschool graduation day...
Last Wednesday, I took you to Kindergarten Roundup at Southdale Elementary. We were running a little behind and when I realized I underestimated the amount of cars parked on the side streets, I took your hand as we walked into the front entrance to speed things up a bit, well aware that if I left things to your pace, we'd surely be late. You may be too heavy for me to carry anymore, but every time you grab onto my hand I am reminded you are still little. You still had my hand when we walked into the cafeteria and I felt you squeeze it tighter as we found your group among the sea of wide-eyed faces. Soon, you locked eyes with Addy, one of your buddies from school, and the instant smiles on both of your faces reassured me that you would be just fine. And of course, you had a wonderful morning exploring your new school and meeting one fantastic group of teachers. We celebrated with smiley pancakes and chocolate milk at J's, per your request.
Tonight is your preschool graduation and whether I'm ready or not, we are about to embark on a big milestone, five years in the making. And as I walked out of that cafeteria last week, swallowing that lump in my throat that has become so familiar as a mom, I thought about your hand holding mine and just how important that little squeeze was to this stage we are in. You are more than ready for kindergarten and I have always admired how you embrace new experiences with ease and excitement. But that little squeeze reminded me just how brave you are. That there's still fear and uncertainty in that little heart of yours, and that while you let go and did it, you still felt home by holding my hand.
This is my prayer for you always. That you are brave and try new things, knowing that with Jesus in your heart you can do anything. I listened to a podcast yesterday and they talked about little kids and how awesome you are. When a baby is learning to walk, they are so brave. They get up on wobbling legs, walk across the room, and fall down, over and over again. How brave they are! And what do parents do when they fall? They watch in astonishment as they walk and cheer like crazy when they fall. In this life you will experience accomplishment and disappointment. You will fly and sometimes you will fall. But we will always, always be cheering you on.
So be brave. Bravery can mean not giving up on things that are hard, sitting by someone who doesn't have anyone to sit by, or standing up for a friend on the playground who's getting laughed at. Bravery is doing the right thing even when it's not easy, giving your very best even when the outcome is unknown, and being the little boy Jesus made you to be. Just exactly as you are.
And just like you squeezed my hand as we walked into Kindergarten roundup, I pray that you always feel safe, supported, and loved at home. I want you to fly, but I also pray that I can be the kind of mom you love to come home to. A mom that laughs with you, listens to you (and I mean really listens to you), doesn't try to control you, or push her own expectations on you, and instead just supports you and loves you and is always there for you. Being a mom in this day and age is not easy - it's full of expectations and social media accounts and kids growing up way too fast. But I pray for the balance of letting go of those worldly perspectives when they don't matter while preparing you to be smart and always remain true to what's in your heart.
The last five years you have been so blessed to spend your days at a place that has built such a rock for you to stand on. It takes a village, and Blessed Beginnings has been a big part of ours. The teachers who have loved you, the friendships you have made, and the values that have shaped you have provided such a strong start to these growing up years. Don't forget your family-style breakfasts and dinners, your "God is Great" prayers before every meal, your chapel singing and dancing each week, and all those science experiments with Mrs. W. They are such good things, things you can still practice through being kind, finding joy, and being curious about all there is to explore in this great big world.
(Preschool Day at the Park, Monday)
Happy Graduation Day, Cruz. It hurts to watch you grow big, but makes me so happy to see you fly. I am so proud of the boy you are - your creative spirit and imaginative stories, your silly ways, your big brown eyes, and your nonchalant ease with the way you do life. I pray I'm still reveling in these traits of yours thirteen years from now as you graduate high school. But most of all, I pray those thirteen years go by at a snail's pace. :)
Love you always...
Your first day of preschool, August 2014...
And a picture of you from five years ago that popped up on my Facebook feed. I can't handle this!
And a preview of what's to come tonight. :)