A letter to school mamas

Dear School Mamas,

As I thought about the school year approaching, I remembered back to when my daughter started kindergarten. We'd done preschool two mornings a week before that, but there's something different about kindergarten. There's something scary about brand new beginnings and new schools and that feeling that we have no idea what we're doing. I remember looking around...I could tell which parents had older children that had gone to our school before. They knew which way to go for pick up. They knew each other. I sat in my car and just observed. I wondered if I would ever feel like I belonged at this school. Eventually, I did. But it wasn't overnight. It took time. Just as any relationship take time, growing community at your school will be the same. Maybe you're an overnight grower. That's how Kara was. But some of us are not that way. We take more than 2 minutes to feel as if we've been best friends for life. :) I am not saying that you will certainly find your people at your child's school. But you might. Especially if you are open. If you stay 5 minutes and talk to one another and get to know each other. There can be beautiful community to be found.

So, mamas... as you send off your child (and really your heart) into the school world, know that you are not alone in your feelings. You might be a bit euphoric about some time to yourself and also feel guilty about that very same thought. You might want them home with you and want them learning and blossoming at the same time. I still experience all of those feelings with my now older children. I want them to grow up and go into the world and know how to handle themselves, but I also want to keep them tucked at home at the same time. Being a mother (or a father) in these moments is definitely a dance—the figuring out what you can let go of and what to hold on to.

If your child is the kind who walks into the classroom without tears, do not feel bad. You are raising a confident little person and that is amazing. If your child is the kind who needs extra hugs and doesn't want to leave your side, trust in the teachers and the place that God has led your kiddo. Sometimes the best thing that we can do in that moment is just hug and get out of there. I know this from experience because I have one of those sometimes shy kiddos. They usually do fine once we leave. Sometimes—I'm not going to say this is you, but it is me—it's more my issue than theirs.

Whatever you do for schooling, whether it's home or charter or public or private, we have the gift of placing our kids into God's hands. We can trust that He is with them wherever they go. Our kids are protected and known and loved by a heavenly father who adores them. We aren't just sending our children off into the world without layers of protection. They are constantly watched over. So if you have a new one headed out the door, big hugs. You can do this...with God's help.