I promised myself I wouldn’t be emotional. We’ve been through this before. When she started Preschool for the first time last year, she struggled to adapt. Although she was only there two days a week, it was two whole days without me. She is my first born and has never been away from family for any reason.
So yes, preschool was an emotional roller-coaster for both of us. We forget that when a child grows, a mother grows with them too. When my child was born, I was also born, as a Mother. My body changed, my identity changed, my priorities changed… and oh, my heart was never the same.
On the day before her first day at Kindy I had some alone time with her. Time that I would sometimes take for granted. Listening to her endless story telling, soaking in all the little noises she makes -sometimes unbearable but that now seemed so sweet and lovely-, and just staring at her smile.
Now, sitting in front of her while she does her “Arts and Crafts” (while her little brother has his nap and her younger sister is at Child Care) I just wanted to tell her: “I see you.”
“Oh, my sweet little Kindergarden girl: I see you. I always saw you, but today it hit me: I am so used to having you with me, helping me, making me laugh, challenging me every minute I, now, realised the reality of it. All of a sudden I felt my heart sinking and a feeling of emptiness in my stomach that led me to think “you won’t be with me like you used to be anymore”.
Even though my heart feels wretched, I pray that you adapt to your new journey more easily and more calmly this time around.”
What a day so full of emotions! She was dressed in her uniform, looking beautiful and sharp. She was so proud of herself. She walked into her Kindy class and surprised me! No tears or stress. Not even looking back! I was so proud of her!
The second day however, was a little different. It seemed like all the excitement had settled and reality had sunk in. I saw her tears as I said my goodbyes and my heart felt her fear. I knew she was in good hands. And even though she is young and she wouldn’t even think of praying when she is scared, she has a mum and a father who will.
Leaving your children for hours out of reach, especially at such a cute and vulnerable age, is not easy to do. But we have a great comfort in God. My daughter’s brief tears reminded me of 2 things: 1) that I cannot wipe all her tears anymore, but 2) God CAN. God can comfort her heart and also mine… So I prayed for her and I surrendered myself to Him and His will.
“I surrender myself to You, take care of everything, I trust in You“… was the simple prayer, but not enough. My heart was still unsettled, driving back home to my other 2 children, so I changed the prayer and said what I really needed Him to do for Me that I couldn’t do myself.
“Jesus, I surrender my daughter to you, please, console her.”
I said it with all my heart. Because, really, we cannot go further than this. Our children are growing. We gave them the foundation, told them the basics, and we will keep teaching them so many other things. We will keep being the strong support they need and we will still and forever be, their PARENT. But, from now on we are going to have to trust, to REALLY and WHOLEHEARTEDLY trust in GOD… surrending the protection and well-being of our children in a world that is constantly changing.
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4: 6-8
God is the only one who can give us peace.
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 20.
Ahh… what a promise: I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS.
What makes you think He is not with your children ALWAYS too?
Let us pray for our children.
Saint Gianna, pray for us.
God bless you,
Liza, a Maronite Mum