My daughter started kindergarten today. It about killed me off.
The heartbreak actually started about a week ago. We went to the back to school ice cream social. There was no ice cream. False advertising. I didnt’ t think this was a very good way to start our relationship with the local elementary school. After we met her teacher and toured the school and confirmed the absence of ice cream at the ice cream social we drove to Burgerville. We all had milkshakes. I figured that something had to keep my child’s trust in the world intact.
Besides I needed a milkshake. One of the activities the teacher had laid out in the classroom was for parents. We were supposed to write a message to our child to be read on their first day of school. I knelt down, picked up a pen, grabbed a heart and started to cry. I couldn’t figure out how to say all that I wanted to on the tiny heart.
I want her to know I’m proud of her. I want her to know that I will always love her. I want her to work hard and play lots and make tons of friends. I want her to stop the class bully and befriend those others won’t. I’d like her to know that she can call me at any time and I’ll drop everything to come. I’d like her to know that her drawings could use some more detail. I’d like to remind her to push her hair behind her ears and her chair in. I’d like her to know that her freckles make me smile.
I love Jeremiah 31:33. It’s a message from a Father to a people in transition. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,”declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
God wants to write lots on my heart too. Big messages about faith and hope and love and justice and joy. I think mostly He wants us to know that He is God and that He loves us.
I went home today at lunch for the big event. My husband and I and the five-year old drove the three blocks to the school. When we arrived we joined the other parents on the lawn in the picture fest. My husband encouraged my daughter to introduce herself to the other students. She met a nice little boy named Noah. She smiled at a little girl she’d met at the ice cream less social. My husband encouraged me to meet the other moms. I hung back.
Her teacher opened the door. My heart skipped a beat. My daughter said “Mom, I gotta go”. And off she went. No hug. No tears. Brave girl. Her teacher asked the kids if they had friends already. My daughter grabbed the hand of the ice cream girl and said “This is my friend”. Noah pointed at her and said “I’m her friend”. I breathed again. Her teacher smiled at all of the parents huddled around. She said “you can all come in and take pictures. It’s your day too.”. I wanted to hug her.
A few minutes later we decided that we better leave before we were black listed as the clingy parents. Our daughter did great. I walked outside with tears again. Right outside the door was a group of six sobbing moms. I grinned and said “Is this where the crying moms stand?”. I took my place with the other moms and introduced myself.
I’m the mom and I love her. I hope it’s written on her heart.