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Friday, May 20, 2016

Long days, short years

For the past several weeks our family groove has been thrown off and we are finding a new one in the chaos.  Myles has been working very long hours everyday and it’s put a kink in the normal way of life for me.  The office where he works is right next to Molli’s school so he had taken on the task of bringing Molli to school when he headed to work in the morning and picked her up at noon when she got out and he had a lunch break.  Not a bad setup for me!  Lately though, his long hours have him long gone by the time the kids get up and he comes home just in time for a quick story and a kiss goodnight.  It’s been a lot on my shoulders to maintain some sort of normal life with all the kids and maintaining the household.  I’m not doing amazing, but we are surviving.  Mostly, at least.  

Throwing us off kilter even more is the wrapping up of the school year, soccer and dance.  We finished soccer season (with a roaring hallelujah) and just brushed off the sparkles leftover from the end of this semester of dance.  These extra curricular activities are great fun but I’m not sad to say goodbye to some of the scheduling headaches. This week alone Molli had a field trip on Monday and on Tuesday, dance class on Wednesday, dance rehearsal on Thursday morning (during school) and a recital Thursday evening then the last day of school on Friday. All good things, but it’s like boom, boom, boom, one thing after the other.  Plus babysitters and nap schedules.

Today was the last day of school and I showed up for the tail end of the closing service with an all too eager three and a half year old and a toddler sound asleep on my shoulder (again with the scheduling/nap difficulty).  Molli was among the crowd of students and families somewhere and I got to thinking that this was her final hour at the school she has attended for the last two and a half years.  These walls have seen her through some of the most precious years of her life, and certainly have left an impression on her little heart.  Just as I was thinking all this, the group recited a prayer of thanks together and I got choked up realizing the value of what I was witnessing.  Communal prayer is beautiful, especially from the mouths of these young kids who are together each day learning about Jesus.  They are receiving an academic education, but more importantly, they are being filled with the Word and are being influenced by some incredible adults who love the Lord.  What an incredible blessing and honor it has been to be a part of such an institution.  Even at the tender age of five, Molli seems to have a greater understanding of spiritual concepts than many adults I know.  

She will be going to a public school for a full day next year and I am a more than a little bit heartbroken.  I have nothing against public schooling, at all, but it is scary to imagine sending a little piece of my heart into the world where things will be different. For the first time, she will be in an environment where those around her will not necessarily have love for Christ as their guide. There will be people who don’t know or care about Jesus, and that will be an eye-opener for her. Almost nobody in this great big school will know her and she will have to make a start for herself, without me present.  It’s important for her to spread her wings and have these fresh experiences, but man, it’s tough knowing where she’s coming from.  I am already praying for her future classmates and teachers, that she will be placed among people who will be beneficial for her.  I want her to build relationships with safe, Godly people.  There is no sense in pretending that I can protect her forever, but I sure hope that we are doing a good job at home instilling in her all the good things I want for her, because the most important components, she won’t receive at school any longer.  Her teachers will not tell her that Jesus created her perfectly when she messes up, or guided to pray for others who are hurting.  She won’t receive the life-giving words of scripture at school or pray as a group before snack time. This really increases the importance of my job as her mom. I will pray hard for her new teacher, just as I have prayed for those teaching her the past couple years. 

We have been blessed with the most incredible teachers at Grace Lutheran.  They’ve made their way into our hearts and I know Molli will miss them tremendously next year.  Thankfully, Gavin will be starting preschool in the fall so they will remain a solid part of our family. Gav is SO excited to be in Mrs. Hinz’s class!  He is already very comfortable at the school and makes himself right at home in her classroom, for better or worse.  It seems that he already loves her just as much as Molli does! As much as Molli has learned in these preschool and kindergarten classes, I am interested to see what Gavin will be like when he’s moving on to the big public school with Molli.  I hope that his experience at the school is similar to Molli’s and that he grows similarly to her.  I just cannot believe my babies are already at this stage of life.  

As hard as the days have been lately, I’m trying my best to treasure these kids.  They are living proof that they grow up right in front of my eyes and I hardly notice it.  The constant too-small clothes should be a sign that they’re growing, but I don’t see it clearly until I take a step back and reflect.  Reflection makes me emotional. I know one day, not long from now, I’ll be amazed at how little she was today.  She seems like such a big girl, but she’s still little, I just won’t know it until later. As I’ve been told a hundred times, “the days are long, but the years are short.” 

(Wasn't this like a week ago?)

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