You don’t know it yet, but one day you will. One day you will hold your child’s hand and walk them down a florescent lit hallway, through throngs of 10 and 12 year olds who suddenly seem much older than they did the day before. One day you will wake up in the morning and start imaging all the things your child will hear and see that he has never seen before and wonder how he will handle it. You will wonder if the lessons you have taught him in the last 6 years will still stick once he is out of your home. Will he remember to say “yes, ma’am” or “thank you?” Will he remember not to always push to the front of a line to be first? Will he stand up for someone who is being picked on the same way that he rushes to aid his litter sister when she is being bullied by her 2 year old brother?
You will wake up even before that 6 am alarm goes off and start praying silently in your heart as you get dressed and make the first of many school lunches. You will pray that God will help your little child to seek justice. You will pray that your child is the one who remembers that every other child in his class is someone’s precious baby and that each child in his class deserves to be cherished, loved, and cared for. You will pray that your son lends a hand to a classmate in need, that he remembers to tell his teacher how much he appreciates her hard work.
You will pray that your rambunctious and opinionated son remembers to love mercy. You will pray that he is quick to forgive when a classmate wrongs him. When he is inevitably left out of an inside joke, you will pray that he keeps loving the jokers who left him out. You will pray that when he hears other kids teasing, he steps in with compassion. You will remember all the times that he has instigated arguments or quarrels with his brother and hope that he doesn’t do those things to his classmates.
You will pray that your self-assured, confident, outspoken, miniature version of yourself will walk humbly. You will pray that he doesn’t act prideful if he is smarter than someone else. You will pray that he doesn’t blurt out every right answer, just because he knows them first. You will pray that he uses his knowledge and intellect to help a friend who is struggling.
And, Noa, as you comb your sons hair that morning and as you watch him eat a special cinnamon bun breakfast, you will hold back tears knowing that this is the beginning of a path that will one day end with him leaving the house for good. You will wonder if you should have home schooled him, if you should keep him under your wings a little bit longer. Until he’s a little bit older. Until he’s a little bit more able to discern wisely when tough decisions or temptations befall him. You will remind yourself that he goes to a great school. With great friends. And great teachers. And that it’s, thankfully, only a 3 minute walk away.
Noa, you will drop your oldest child off at school and watch so proudly as he goes straight to his seat and gives you a hurried kiss before darting across the classroom to check out all the new and exciting displays, books, and art supplies overflowing from the shelves. You will walk away from the classroom and look at your spouse and smile and know that you did the right thing. You will thank God for a strong, smart, healthy child and pray that he is a beacon of hope and a face of joy to everyone that he meets.
And, then, Noa, after 7 hours that seem like a year, you will sit on the front porch and watch your son come riding up the driveway on his scooter with a huge smile plastered across his face. He will give you the best hug you’ve had all day and tell you he had the, “best day of my whole life ever.” His mouth will run 1000 words per minute telling you about his day and you will hug him tightly and listen with anxious ears. You will sit on the couch and ask him a million questions about a day that is curiously unfamiliar to you. And that night, as you tuck your son into bed before another day of learning, you will pray again, but this time with a heart of joy, thanking God for His hand of provision on your son’s life and on your family. You will sleep peacefully and dream of your child’s future; a future full of hope, opportunity, and adventure.
You will wake up the next morning and make the 2nd of 10,000 school lunches.