Monday, September 14, 2009

Parenthood Can Be Cruel

Thank you to Dyane Davis for this post:

As we begin another school year, I wanted to take an opportunity to share some thoughts I wrote down last year, the first day of Kindergarten for my oldest child. Having been an elementary teacher for several years (including Kindergarten 1 year!) , I thought I was more prepared for this monumental event. But little did I know how incredibly difficult this step into a new season of life would be. So whether you have said goodbye to your firstborn, your youngest, or are still cuddling your sweet child and wondering how long these days will last…. I hope you will enjoy these personal thoughts.

Today I must humbly apologize for the times I wondered why in the world parents had such a hard time leaving their children the first day at school when I was teaching. I thought some Moms had a hard time letting go, didn’t trust me as a teacher, or were just too attached. Today I became THAT mom.

I managed to hold my tears until I left the class, but it ripped my heart out that I had to leave my boy in tears too. Where did all the years go? I vividly remember those two pink lines on November 12, 2002 that told me I was going to be a mommy. I remember the 6 incredibly long days I was overdue with him and begging him to come out. I recall the 3 intense hours of pushing I endured, which I would gladly do over again for that moment I heard his first cry and held him close to my heart.

I also remember the times I was too tired to read "just one more story" or build "just one more airport." If I had known how quickly time would go, I would gladly go back and read that story and build that airport with my little boy as he's safe at home with me. All the regrets come flooding back as I hand him off to his teacher....

Does she know how special he is? Does she know that he knows the names of most types of fighter jets and can hit a golf ball over 100 yards? Does she know that he likes silly voices when we read stories and that he can count to 1000? Does she know that he was in children's hospital when he was 15 months old and was so sick we didn't know if he would be okay? Does she know what a gift he is to me?

All of this leads me to the conclusion that PARENTHOOD CAN BE CRUEL. You lose your heart to your children and fall completely in love with them only to have to let them go little by little for the rest of their lives. This is one of the first stages of letting go... and it hurts. But I better learn how to do it well and embrace every new season in his life so that he can become the man I know God has intended him to be.

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