Friday, August 17, 2012

To be known

It takes such trust (and no small amount of fear) to send the joy of your heart off into an unfamiliar world.  Even when it means sending your child off to school, which is not all that unfamiliar, and should not be so scary.  This isn't our first experience of letting go.  Last year, our family watched Brady climb the big BIG bus steps with his twig-skinny legs.

We worried, wondered, questioned, and feared; and he thrived, grew, settled, and loved every minute.  You would think we would get accustomed to the process, but worry has settled like a pit deep within me.  It's like the anxiety lives within my womb like he once did, and I feel the pain like the beginnings of labor.

The build up to school this year has been intense for me.  Although I'm ready to get back to the scheduled days of fall (especially for my husband's sake as he has braved many LOOOONG summer days solo with both kids), I wonder about what this year will bring.  Kindergarten was a big transition, but something about 1st grade seems so real.  We aren't testing out the routine any more.  This is school, the real deal.  Although Brady is a fantastic student and loves school, I worry that his excitement will end one day.  As our 6th grade neighbor keeps (unhelpfully) warning Brady, "You won't always like school.  At some point, it's just all about work and no fun."  

Our sweet boy has such a sensitive and kind heart.  He is not a rough and tumble sporty boy.  He loves music and drama and writing.  Will they nurture his heart and accept him for who he is?  Will they see that spark and seek to grow it?  Will he find friends that love him and will he ignore the awful meanies that seek to hurt him?  Will what he learns only enlarge his mind, heart, and spirit instead of bringing hurt and despair?  I pray that school does not crush his spirit or imagination, that he doesn't feel the need to conform to everyone else's expectations of who he should be (even mine).

Yesterday, we took him to his school's open house to meet his teacher.  The hallways were still full of furniture that needed to be moved, bulletin boards in progress, and piles of trash.  But then, we entered the room, and his teacher beamed and said, "Hi, Brady!  I'm so glad you're in my class!"  My boy is already known, and loved.  She recognized him, and had tested him in reading last year since he started kindergarten as a reader.  She talked about his gifts, and it put our minds at ease that she already cared for our boy and knew what he needed.  She shared about their schedule, especially the parts that she knew would pique Brady's interest (2 whole hours a day of reading a writing, with a special reading nook overflowing with comfy chairs and piles of books).  Brady had already made his home cross-legged in a chair with a book.

To be known...isn't it the greatest journey for all of us?  To know ourselves, accept who we are, and then find acceptance from others.  It is difficult and sometimes painful, and I want to shelter my sweet and tender boy from it all.  But yet, I look at him with his broad smile, his comfort evident in how he carries himself and speaks his mind, and I feel like he has a lot to teach me about the whole process.

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