Motherhood, Our Family

Emotions I Didn’t Anticipate

Tomorrow is the big day.  Kindergarten begins and Isabella will sit in a classroom with 27 other students, learning and experiencing things that I’ll only know about from what she shares with me at the end of the day.

Sending my oldest child to school has stirred emotions in me that I didn’t anticipate.  The sadness about her growing up, jealousy of the teacher who will get to watch her learn everyday, and fear of leaving her in an unknown place–these are things I was prepared for.

What I hadn’t expected was feeling nervous for me.  I have no reservations about Isabella’s ability to be a good student, make friends, or even feel comfortable in a new place.  When we went to the open house this past Sunday, she waltzed into the school, steps ahead of the rest of us, like she had been going there for years.  She smiled and did an unprompted dance when I asked to take her picture.  She’s going to love it.

Me?  I’m feeling nervous and jittery over the whole thing.  I remember driving back to school at the end of each summer to start a new semester of college.  As soon as I would turn off onto the exit of my University, my stomach would tie up into knots.  That’s how I feel right now.

Will I make her late for school?  What if I forget to have her do her homework?  Will the teacher like me?  Will I be sure to fill out all the forms, show up for parent-teacher conferences, and remember all the other important dates?  How do I do this school-Mom thing??

Maybe I’m the only Mom that feels this way, maybe not.  It’s one thing to be responsible for your own schoolwork, it’s another to know that you are helping your child to be responsible and accountable to another authority.  I don’t want to let her down.  And I want to help her to succeed.

I guess it’s the same way with our children and the Lord.  We teach them about God.  We strive to live out our faith before them in humility and zeal.   We long to see them embrace the truth of the gospel and follow hard after Jesus.

At times I struggle with wondering if I’ve explained truths in a way my children can understand.  Did they get the reason for Jesus’ sacrifice?  Are they coming to know God and His character?  Do they understand what it means to be pleasing to the Lord?  How are they ever going to learn how to walk in the Spirit if I keep losing it over the slightest irritations?

We do our best to present them with the truth, but the Holy Spirit must draw, convict, and renew.  The outcome of their faith is ultimately out of my control.

There are countless areas in the development of my children that are out of my control:  abilities, hobbies, career, relationships, faith.

I don’t know if I’ll always remember to show up for meetings on time, I’m sure there will be days when we miss a homework assignment, and it’s possible she’ll be late for school now and then.

But, I’m going to strive to do my best.  Just as in every other area, striving to teach and train, praying for wisdom and strength, seeking to live out every area of my life in a way that pleases the Lord, and in each area pointing my children to Jesus, entrusting them to the Lord over and over again.

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  • Reply sherri lynn

    I can’t believe tomorrow Isabella starts school! I loved these pictures of her and imagining her walking into her class tomorrow and sitting there, ready to learn! I think she’s really going to thrive in school – both academically and relationally! And I know you will do a great job being a school-mom 🙂

    August 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply Julie

    I totally feel the same way – although most of my anxiety comes from wondering if I’ll fail as a home schooling mom, ha! David pointed out that as fallen humans we are prone to comparison and anxiety no matter what our decisions, so that’s what we need to give to the Lord because these issues will surface time and again.

    Reading your words it struck me: I’m glad you’re going to try your best, but it’s also so, so good for your kids to see you not try to be the perfect school mom. That isn’t your identity. Your identity is fixed so deep, so secure, that you can be yourself and rejoice with Isabella’s joy and also be free to totally make mistakes and learn to laugh at yourself. How freeing that will be for your whole family and for other women who are watching you, who are every bit as terrified deep down. I will pray for you!

    August 21, 2014 at 4:35 pm
    • Reply BradleyandLauren Washer

      Thanks for these words, Julie. Yes, comparison is such a joy-robber. Thanks for your prayers! I’ll be praying for you, too.

      August 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

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