I’ve been fighting a bit of melancholy this week. It’s not all that unexpected, actually. Happens every year. The calendar page’s corner is already curling up a bit where I’ve lifted it several times to add events and commitments to September, October, November…
Yes. School is here again.
Now please don’t get me wrong: I love school. Former school teacher. Recovering nerd. Bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. Like, big red puffy heart, doodle my first name with its last name love it.
And by the time next week and the first school day arrive, I’ll be back to full-tilt. Ready to run copies and bring casseroles and plan parties and whatever else you’d allow me to put my hand to. A cheerleader for my children and their schools’ teachers.
…But with the end of summer comes the end of lazy Uno games, all of us sprawled out on the floor. Or movie nights with popcorn and who cares if they already brushed their teeth or how late they stay up, it’s summer.
And I have a tinge of loneliness, too, because it feels that so many of my dear friends are all but throwing a parade in honor of sending their kids to school. Because for moms, let’s face it, the “break” part of summer break usually happens after the kids go back. And I get that. It can grueling to be “on,” at work, and on-call every day and night for ten long weeks.
And as far as teachers go, we have been blown away for years by the most extraordinary, dedicated, caring, amazing teachers and staff one could ever imagine. And if I could buy each and every one of you a cruise with a personal chef and shiatsu masseuse and no wake up calls right this very minute, I would. Because goodness KNOWS you deserve it.
And while I’m excited about the year ahead and hope to squeeze in the time and effort to make you something thoughtful and creative and meaningful for my kids to give you on the first day, I must share the gift I’m really handing over.
These are the gifts I entrust to you. I don’t mean like “Here are my kids. Be blessed.” Haha, oh no, goodness knows that by the end of some days, my crazy eye is starting to twitch and I just want to take off the referee jersey and just sit down for Five. Seconds. without someone demanding my presence or my brainpower or my attention and YOU KIDS ARE MAKING ME LOSE MY MIND UP IN HERE. AND STOP ACTING LIKE WILD ANIMALS.
… But they are a treasure to me, one I see unfolded each day, one I am jealous and selfish to want to keep to myself, when I know God has greater plans for them in the world.
So, when I hand off this first born, I pray that you will see his kindness and his character. I hope you will see that a poor grade he might earn is typically not for a lack of understanding but for a lack of attention to detail. Spelling, heaven help us. And I pray that the excellent grades he will earn are a result of not only his smarts but also of hard work and sometimes late nights juggling school, family, church, sports, and rest. I pray that you will affirm him. But mostly I pray that you will look deep into his soul, as teachers do, and find there a uniquely created and intrinsically valuable person on a journey and with a purpose he scarcely yet knows. In short, I pray that you will love him.
When I deliver Li’l Bro to your classroom door, I pray that you will see his joy and passion. I hope you will see that his tendency to talk loudly and get a little too expressive and carried away are traits he comes by honestly. I pray that you will see that he is the most generous person I have ever met, and I hope you will give him opportunities to exercise this gift, as it brings him a deep sense of worth and satisfaction. And gracious, I do hope he doesn’t get too carried away. I pray that you see that twinkle in his eyes when he works out a problem, my little mathematician and engineer. But mostly I pray you will look deep into his soul, as teachers do, and find there a uniquely created and intrinsically valuable person on a journey and with a purpose he scarcely yet knows. In short, I pray that you will love him.
When I walk Sis into your preschool class, I pray that you will see her sense of humor and creativity. I hope that you will quickly recognize her enjoyment of simple pastimes like cutting and gluing and painting, and give her ample opportunity to partake of them. I pray that you will encourage her to continue to sing and dance and run and play, and not to develop any insecurities, as young girls seem to do, about being utterly herself. I pray she will laugh loudly. But mostly I pray you will look deep into her soul, as teachers do, and find there a uniquely created and intrinsically valuable person on a journey and with a purpose she scarcely yet knows. In short, I pray that you will love her.
So here is my first day of school (and every day after) gift. They are my precious ones, and I am entrusting them to you. 🙂
I am not a teacher, but had to say; what a beautiful tribute to your children and the acknowledgement of the precious gift that they are to you. 💕💕💕
Wow Gina! Thank you for sharing your heart. Very well said.
Gina, as a former teacher I thank you for your sentiments. Heaven knows that a teacher’s day would be easier and more rewarding with more parents like you.
I just love this, you, and your family.
Gina, thank you for putting my heart into words. I truly pray that our teachers, wherever we are in the world, would truly see our babies for who they are and what they mean to us. I pray these very things for my girls. You are not alone in your thoughts and sentiments. Your kiddos have the added benefit of having a momma who is actively involved in their school and lives. Keep writing and pouring out your heart in prose, girl. So many of us struggle to find the words. We need people like you to speak our heart ❤
I came here looking for a craft, but stayed to read this post. What a lovely post and so eloquently expresses my feelings about my own children. My school finally starts on Monday and as a teacher there I will definitely keep this post in mind and love them all for who they are. Thank you for sharing such an inspirational post.
Gina…have you ever considered homeschooling?
May I ask what your reasons were for choosing against homeschooling? Please feel free to email me privately! Can we “talk”? 😉 I am interested in your reasoning and ultimate decision to do public school. Thank you for this post!
Annie, we are in the district of a wonderful public school, so that helps. But ultimately, I knew that my desire to home school was driven by fear, not faith. God has been faithful, and we have been so thankful for our kids’ education experience so far. Not perfect, of course, but no place–public, private, charter, or home–is. 🙂