Only 3 full days left before Gabbi goes off to school and I find myself thinking, how did we end up here? While in reality 6 years have gone by, it feels like it was only just days ago that Gabbi was still riding in a shopping cart or a stroller and was just learning how to walk and talk! Now she is reading, writing and ready to head off to public school, without me. Why is the start of school harder on us than it seems to be on them? While I have been counting down the days for the past few months, excited about and dreading the start of this chapter all at the same time, Gabbi acts like it really isn’t a big deal. She is eagerly anticipating the day when she gets to hop on the school bus, ride off to school and spend her days learning and playing without the presence of the people who have been caring for her everyday up until now. While I am thrilled and relieved that she is ready for it, a part of me is a little bit sad that she is so willing to leave. I would never tell her this, but I think that a part of me deep down wants her to not want to leave me. Would I actually want her to be afraid of going to school? Absolutely not! But I can’t say that I wouldn’t be happy to know that she wanted to stay with me….
In the first few years of our children’s lives, our entire world seems to revolve around them. We tend to every cry, every question, every need, lovingly around the clock. As they get a little older, we begin to wean them on to independence, but we still remain responsible for everything that they do, say, learn, and most importantly, feel. I think that I need to take a different perspective on her attitude of readiness as saying that I am doing an okay job raising her into her own little person. In order for her to not be afraid, she has to feel safe, secure, confident and trusting. These feelings are learned through upbringing, environment and example. When our children begin to have the desire to leave us, to begin to establish who they are as people, and to begin making their own decisions, it means that as parents we are doing our job well. Thank goodness, for our sake, that this process happens slowly, over time, and that they come home every day after school still .
I once read, in a bible study for moms that I had been doing, that motherhood (or parenthood for that matter) is the one job where we hope to do it so well, that we eventually work our way out. The better we do our job, the less we are needed to do it. Eventually, at the end of our grueling years of parenting young children, the one thing we devoted our heart and soul to, will be able to do all the things that we did for them, for themselves. Thankfully, at the end, in our “retirement”, we will get to enjoy the fruit of our work, by witnessing the lives of these wonderful little people the Lord has entrusted us with, go off into the world as adults who are capable of caring for themselves, who are, hopefully, in relationship with their Savior and who are walking in the path of God’s will for them.
In this season in our life, I am at two different stages in parenting. As I care for Scarlet, it often becomes overwhelming, because she is in constant need of me, and she can be inconsolable at times. However, as I look to this coming Tuesday, and I realize that Gabbi is going to be getting on the bus, and this chapter in her life of being home with me everyday is coming to an end, I am reminded of how short this time with them is. I remember Gabbi being a toddler like Autumn, and I can see Autumn growing so quickly that it will seem like such a short time before she is heading off too. When I talk with Gabbi, and I hear her thoughts on things, I am so excited for the little girl that she has become and I am so lucky that I was chosen to be a part of her growing up. I am so thankful for all three of my girls, and I truly love this wonderful job I get to have, of raising them and taking care of the place that they call home. I am so grateful to the Lord for the the ability to stay at home with them. 3 years ago, I never would have imagined that my life would look like this, but the Lord has different plans for us than the plans we have for ourselves, and His are always greater.
Ahh! This post seems to have turned into me dealing with my own emotions on the upcoming first day of school. Aside from my feelings about missing having Gabbi around here everyday, we are truly excited about this next chapter! We were able to have an awesome afternoon to go back to school shopping. Gabbi invited her older cousin, Makenzi, to come and stay with us for a few days and join in our shopping trip and they had a blast! 5 hours, and a bunch of dressing rooms later, the girls came home with some pretty nice outfits, which they proceeded to model for us the next morning in a fashion show! We also purchased all of Gabbi’s supplies, and Gabbi and I went a put them all in her classroom the other day so she wouldn’t have to worry about them the first day. This weekend, we are going to enjoy a little girl time, watching some movies and baking some fun snacks for her lunch box! I have been waiting for awhile to make these:
Hope every other parent is having fun getting ready to go back to school! School starting also means the beginning of my favorite season – fall! Looking forward to pumpkin patches, apple picking, making apple butter, apple cider, candy corn (I know its horrible, but I still love it), Halloween and gearing up for the holidays!! I’ll leave you guys with a pic of my three beautiful girls – I don’t know if I have posted this one on here yet, but they are so cute in it, if I did its worth sharing again …
“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
(I love how the amplified version reminds us to look to our children’s individual gifts as well!)