It's that time of the year again. School is in session, summer is officially over and the calendar is already filling up with activities. Nathan and Grace attended the YMCA summer camp this year and had a really great time. They swam every day, stayed active and went on field trips once a week. They made new friends and enjoyed their time away from school and all the responsibilities associated with the classroom.
But it's here again. We had meet the teacher night Monday, and the kids were really excited to be in the halls of their school again, calling out to old friends they had not seen all summer and hugging teachers. It was such a different scene from last year when we were new to this area and the kids didn't know anyone. They quietly observed the other children and shyly said hello to their teachers. You would never know by looking at them today that they were the "new kids" last year. I was so proud of their confidence and friendly attitudes. Another of many prayers answered over the course of the last twelve months.
Every year since Nathan started Kindergarten, we've driven them to school on the first day, walked them to their classes and stayed for a few minutes for a picture or two. When I asked them if they wanted me to drive them to school on the first day, Gracie immediately made it clear that she wanted to ride the bus. Nathan still wanted me to drive him to school and go inside, but the closer it got to the first day I could tell that he was not entirely sure what he wanted. So I asked them one more time this morning what they wanted me to do. The answer broke my heart and made it sing all at one time. I could drive them to school, but they could handle it from there. They didn't want me to walk them in.
On one hand, it made me sad that this would be the first year with no pictures from inside the classroom and no picture of Trevor holding Nathan or Grace's hand. No last minute hugs or kisses. Just a quick "I love you mom!" as they stepped out of the Tahoe and then a fleeting glance of them walking into the school. Not even time for a quick photo of them from the drop-off lane.
On the other hand it made my heart sing with thanksgiving to God that He had been faithful to answer my prayers that my children would make new friends and fit in with their peers in this new town. That they were confident, happy children with an excitement for school and for Him.
So I sit here waiting. Waiting for the sound of the bus pulling up outside, and then the excited chatter and laughter of children getting off the bus and running home. Waiting for my babies who are not babies any more, to come barreling through the front door, full of stories and information about their first day of school. Waiting for the new rhythm of our days to begin again and to watch as my children grow over the next year and marvel once again at the mercy and grace of God in our lives.