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First Day of School...

What is a first day of school?

It is picking out 49 cent and dollar items to set a special breakfast table to give her a memorable sendoff, baking those homemade sweet potato muffins she loves and her favorite baked oatmeal to start her day off right, laying out uniforms and packing backpacks and lunches and filling out forms and wondering if you've gotten it all, thinking that your heart is breaking yet feeling happy and excited at the same time, trying to sleep but not really being able to, getting up when it is still dark to get yourself and everything ready before you wake her up to get her ready, waiting a few minutes before getting her ready to just sit in your green chair and hold her while telling her some of the things you love about her and how great she is going to do, hiding your tears and getting her ready and serving her that special breakfast, admiring how darling she looks in those hot pink shoes and braids and recalling how her face looked as a baby, feeling your stomach do flip-flops as time to say goodbye draws closer,  smiling as she skips down the driveway with her backpack on to give good luck hugs and kisses to her grandparents, rejoicing as her dimple shines and her braids bounce with excitement as you take pictures on the driveway and other neighbors carting children off to school smile and wave as they drive by, giving her that last hug and kiss and covering her once again in prayer as her daddy bravely drives her to school because you knew you just couldn't do it, swallowing the lump in your throat and fighting back the tears as they pull off because you truly are excited to see her so excited.

It is settling into the day and realizing just how quiet it is without her around the house, counting the hours and minutes until you get to hear about her day and praying that everything is going well for her, baking homemade chocolate chip cookies because a few months ago she asked if you would ever make cookies for her after school for a snack and you said you would and want to keep that promise, getting butterflies in your stomach when it is time to pick her up, getting those hugs and kisses you missed all day and hearing about how great everything was in kindergarten, suddenly feeling completely and totally exhausted but knowing you will be doing this for another 12 to 14 years or so, eating dinner at Grammie and Paw Paw's and reviewing the day's exciting events, coming home to do her nightly reading and try to put her to bed early when she suddenly stops, turns to you, and says nine words that make your heart stand still...

"Momma, thank you for making this day so special."

Knowing you will never, ever, ever regret any time, effort, prayers, details, and love invested in her life no matter how exhausted you may feel.  Praising God for her tender heart and sweet spirit.  Holding her close and telling her she makes your days special.  Fighting back those tears once again.  Prayers before bedtime.  Knowing tomorrow is another day that will start in the dark and praying that it will also be a good one.  Praying for strength and wisdom for those next 12 to 14 years.  Gratefully acknowledging that this day, this first day of school, and all others are held carefully and protectively in the hand of a God you have loved since you were her age.  Trusting Him for this day, and the next, and the next...and forever.

That's what a first day of school is. 

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