Saturday, September 21, 2013


We had just returned from Open House night at Ethan's school, and now he was in his jammies and ready to climb under the blankets.

Open House had been a night of relief. I tried not to obsessively pepper the teacher with questions. We heard things that surprised us (he and another boy are over the roof with math skills; she's sitting down and working on DRA Level 3 and 4 books with him -- seriously??; he's not really depending on the para at all) and things that didn't surprise us at all (he doesn't relate much to other kids and likes to stick to his one familiar friend). The teacher, Mrs. B., gave everyone a scavenger hunt throughout the classroom to help learn about the different things the kids do. Can I just love on the teacher for a moment? I LOVE Ethan's kindergarten teacher. She's motivated; attempts to make learning interesting and fun; has 19 kids to manage but still seems to "get" Ethan. We couldn't have asked for more.

But now we were home and Ethan needed to go to bed. I decided to sing to him. I do that sometimes. Ethan loves music, and he loves making up songs.

There I was, on his bed and singing for a moment a little ditty about school before tucking him in, when I saw his lower lip begin to tremble. He was blinking fast.

I stopped. "What is it?"

"I liked school better last year." He sniffed. "When I'm at school, it's a long time. I wish mamma was there." There were tears in his eyes that didn't quite make it out to his cheeks.

I remembered when Anna started preschool, just three mornings a week. On the nights before school days we would always pack up her backpack and put it at the bottom of the stairs near the front door. She confided in us a few years later that many nights she would wake up and look to the bottom of the stairs, see the backpack, and feel sad. She didn't want to go.

Those same feelings of guilt I felt when she told me (even though it was years later and she was then enjoying school very much) swirled around me.

"I miss mamma when I'm at school," Ethan was saying, and I wanted nothing more than to wrap my arms around him and not let him go. In moments like these, when I think of my kids feeling lonely and wanting mom and dad; I want to take my kids home and teach them myself; keep them safe and protected; eliminate any chance of pain or heartache.

The moment was gone as quickly as it had come. "Goodnight," Ethan said, getting up to turn on his CD player. His eyelids were heavy.

I closed his door behind me, thinking of how hard it is to shake those weighty guilt feelings sometimes, as a parent. Even when your child is doing well. Even when you know your kids are where they're supposed to be, at this very moment.

I remembered myself at Ethan's age. Something as simple as forgetting a spoon for the soup I'd brought to school would send me into that insecurity....I wanted my mom! I didn't want to be in a cafeteria of loud kids, unable to finish my lunch, feeling as if my world was slightly askew. I didn't want things to change.

But you know, I'd made it.

And Anna had made it through those first few months of dreading the backpack at the front door.

On this night of hearing how so many things were going right at school, I knew: Ethan would be all right, too.

And so would I, if I remembered to trust and entrust...not just in his abilities, or the teacher's, or mine as a parent, but trust in and entrust him to a God who is always there for him. Even when I can't be.

1 comment:

Wendi Richert said...

Trust and entrust. I like that. A lot.