First Days…All Over Again
I loved the first day of the new school year. It was fun and exciting to get to wear my new clothes and shoes. Backpacks weren’t around when I was little. I carried a “book satchel.” It had twisty closures and a handle. Too cool, right? I didn’t go to kindergarten, let alone pre-school. The first grade opened my eyes to so many new experiences and I got in trouble on the very first day. It’s funny how vividly I remember it. I chased a boy down the hallway yelling his name “J.J” over and over, quite loudly. He was dropping some papers and I just wanted to help. I didn’t know I was supposed to use my “inside voice.”
I love seeing all the posts with the pictures of all the little ones experiencing their “first days.” Wasn’t it just yesterday I held them as tiny babies? Time does fly, doesn’t it? They can’t be babies forever, it just wouldn’t be right. They have to move on. And so do we.
With each of my four, I watched as they boarded that big school bus, knowing that they would never be the same. Their world would get bigger and I would fear that they would think less of the world I made for them at home. I wanted to protect them from everything and how could I if they were out of my sight? I learned that I could do something for them that would mean much more than following them around all day. I could pray.
I could prepare for the scary stuff by bringing it to God and trusting Him to surround my little ones with protection and love. I could seek wisdom for how involved I should be in their formal education. I could follow through with a commitment to support their teachers, as they were entrusted with my most precious possessions. I could cheer my little ones on with praises for their papers and stickers and sign up on all the “volunteers needed” sheets. I could be right there with them, doing my part as they did theirs. I was “in” school too.
I certainly didn’t do it all right. Looking back, I would have this advice for those of you sending your little ones off this Fall. Your child’s teacher should be very important to you. He or she needs your prayers and support. Any good teacher will appreciate the help and will realize that cooperation at home is the key to the success of the child at school. Mammas, make sure your little ones have good rest and nutrition. A school-night should be protected and regarded as preparation for the day ahead.
I read something so sad the other day. In some school systems a well-known washer and dryer manufacturer has donated these appliances to the schools; this is not the sad part. The sad part is that they have discovered that children who had clean clothes to wear had better attendance and participation in school. There were many homes where the children didn’t have someone making sure they had clean outfits to wear. Attendance improved because the schools picked up where the home life dropped the ball.
It all starts at home. Whether God has led you to homeschool or given you peace about sending your little ones to church-affiliated or public schools; you are their first teacher. As you keep learning new things with excitement, you are setting an example that they will follow. Learning is fun and has rewards that no other endeavor holds.
First days are great, whether they are the first-ever days of school or the repeat first days of the new years. Let’s start each new day as a first day. Forgetting and letting go of the mess-ups of yesterday. It does us all good to remember that awesome advice from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14:
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Let’s go onward and upward, following the example of those little ones on their first days of this new school year. Say cheese!