My heart starts beating fast. I feel a tightening of my chest, like something pressing on me. I have to stop and think about taking deep breaths.
No I'm not watching a scary movie...I'm thinking about sending Lincoln to school!
Just the mere thought of letting him leave me every day makes me have what feels like a mild panic attack. And it's not because I'm some crazy momma who can't let her kids go. (I don't think.) It's really, truly because I know the world. I know what will happen to him. I've already been there and I don't want my precious boy to go through it.
People will be mean, kids won't like him, teachers will fuss at him, girls will break his heart, people will make him mad. I just want to cradle his innocence in my hands and keep it forever. He's never heard curse words. He doesn't have a vocabulary of dirty words. He doesn't know that people are often mean on purpose. He doesn't know the story doesn't always end happily ever after.
He is so sweet, loving, forgiving, helpful, and precious. He goes out of his way to help me, he adores his little sister, He loves trucks and planes and cars and trains. He loves to read books and play with his cars. He loves music and loves to dance. He loves Disney movies. He's a little water bug and would swim every day if we could. He knows who Jesus is. He knows that He loves us, no matter what. He knows that he will always be forgiven, he only has to ask. He knows he is always protected from people who want to hurt him or be mean to him.
How do I let this precious bundle that God has entrusted to me go? How do I leave him in a building filled with other children and adults and walk away? How do I know they'll love him, take care of him, watch out for him, stick up for him? How do I spend my days without him? How do we rearrange our lives to revolve around school and sports?
Right now I can't even think about it without heart palpations and watery eyes. It is a deadline that is looming over my head like a monstrous black storm cloud. Summer's ending....school is coming. And our lives will be forever changed.
I know...you're saying I should know how this works, I was a teacher. And I say to you, "Exactly!!" I know how mean kids are, I know teachers have bad days, I know things get overlooked, I know bullies get away with way too much, I know that 2nd graders talk about sex. I know some little people have seen more in their 7 years than I have in my 33. I know they'll teach him bad habits and bad words. I know he will come home mad at me some days for no reason at all.
What I don't know is...how to manage my emotions. I pray every day that God will relieve this stress, worry, fretting, anxiety. I truly don't know how I can drop him off on that first day and leave him behind. It feels like my whole world is changing and nothing will ever be the same again. I don't want to lose who Lincoln is. I don't want him to lose his personality, beliefs, sweetness. I don't want him to not see me as his whole world, his most important person, his best friend. I don't want him to be pressured into the ways of the world. I don't want him to lose sight of what's most important.
So tell me this...how do I hold it together on that BIG day? How do I walk him to class and take his picture without breaking down? How do I keep those tears away until I walk out the door? How do I let him know I'm more proud of him than anything in the whole wide world? How do I focus on this day being one of the biggest days of his life without crying like a baby? I honestly don't know how I'm going to do it. I type this while not just crying, but sobbing. Lincoln is a huge part of my world.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11