Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.
– Dalai Lama
Today’s the first day of school here in Michigan. I know others of you are nearing the halfway point (or something like that) but we tend to hang on to summer kind of like a falling climber hangs on to the edge of a cliff. Rather than fall into the abyss that is winter. So, we started school today.
Which gets me all reflective. We have a second grader. How did that happen? In looking back, age seven has seen so much major development. In the past year, she’s:
Learned how to read (chapter books here we come) ** Caught on to the basics of math (please don't have forgotten this over the summer) ** Gotten rid of the training wheels on her bike (sort of so we're going with it) ** Lost two baby teeth (finally, oh finally) ** Making her own microwave mac and cheese (mama still has clean up duty) ** Swimming (without drowning) ** Taking her own pictures (and they're actually good) ** Playing tennis and golfing (these both still need years of practice)
The list goes on. Actually, for her, it’s not a list. They’re verses in a song. Because she’s always singing. It seems everything “baby” about her is going away. Except for the fact that she’ll always, always be... my baby.
I don’t know how you do it guys. How do you just let them go, trusting them to the care of others again and again? It takes a heaping amount of faith and prayer without ceasing.
Looking back, I don’t know how my own mom did it either. The quote above, it’s the gift my parents gave to me. I’m not sure how they accomplished this exactly, but it’s the absolute truth. I grew up knowing I could go anywhere and do anything. I still believe that. My mom has moved three times since my college years and yet, every time I go see her, I know I’m home. And there’s always a little girl inside of me that wishes I could just stay with her forever. I want to instill that in my daughter.
For those of you who are raising her beside me. The Sunday school teachers who help her look up the stories in her Bible. Church family who love on her and show her what a real family of God looks like. Parents of friends who help form our community. Our actual family who loves her too much and takes such pride in her accomplishments. The teachers, oh gosh, those of you who embrace her whole self every day.
I’ll be there early in the pick-up line today because I cannot wait to hear how her day went. The wild woman waving my hands in the air, long after it embarrasses her. To you, my daughter, I just want to say: