Last week, I found myself crying as I rocked Mia to sleep one night. I was thinking about how fast they grow up. How it seemed like I was just rocking Asher. I went into his room and watched him sleep for a little bit. Sprawled across his bed. He's never been good at keeping still, even in his sleep.
And as I watched him, I prayed. It was more of a conversation really. Asking God how it's fair to give us these precious kids, these little human beings who enter our world, grab hold of our hearts and then ask us to let them go. Little by little. Phase to Phase.
It was the only way I could express what I was feeling.
As soon as the words passed through my mind, the Lord quickly responded. "Cherish the time you are in".
I'm usually good at this. Events in my life have taught me to savor. To treasure. To close my eyes and be present.
But somewhere in the past few weeks leading up to Asher starting school, I found myself grasping to hold on. Struggling to make time just stand still for a bit. Memories of him being "little" seemed to be everywhere. It didn't help that the kids got into a kick of watching home videos. Videos filled with my precious babies, waving bye bye and saying "gah" for ball (asher at 9 months).
But as I watched him sleep that night and heard the Lord in his gentle reminder to just stop and be present in the moment, to cherish. I realized that I was being sort of..... I don't know....selfish.
I can't help but see myself in the hospital room after having Faith. Holding her little body in my arms. Being present right there in that moment. Taking it all in because I knew it would be all I would have. Those moments with her. Even though she'd already passed away, only living seconds, I held her, I named her and I took her all in.
When I look at my kids now, I want to do the same. Hold them. Forever. Keep them safe. Close. Always in front of me, so nothing can ever happen to them.
But I realize I can't do that. I realize what a selfish thing it is really. To want to keep them with me always. Because they find such joy in stepping into new. In learning. In growing. In thriving.
And I do too. I want nothing less for them. But my selfish nature. My memories. They tug at me. They tell me to guard my heart. Guard them. Keep them close.
.....the next day, as I cleaned up down stairs and listened to the kids giggling up stairs, I continued my conversation with God.
You hear that God? They are so happy here. They love eachother so much. They take care of eachother. They are safe here. I can see them, know what they are doing. I can protect them from any hurt. How can I do that once Asher starts school? He won't be with me all of the time. What if someone hurts his feelings? What if he's not good at something and no one is there to encourage him the way only I know how?
Then I heard it again..."Cherish." And again the vision of my sweet Faith in my arms. Then it hit me.
Asher *gets* to go to school.
He is healthy, energetic, smart, funny, incredibly sweet, thoughtful, compassionate, aware of others feelings. He is so perfect. So full of life.
Instead of looking at it like a time of sadness. Like a time where I am "losing" him, I started looking at it like a time of excitiment. Of privelage and blessing. Of life. And the beautiful memories it is full of. The reasons to celebrate. So many of them.
I am blessed to see my son start this new phase. I am blessed to watch him grow and thrive.
I watched him this morning, walk confidently into school and sit down in his chair. So brave. Not one tear. I was so proud. We've done a good job. He's mine. He will always be.
and I didn't cry.
Not until I walked out and the classroom door shut behind me.
Then I cried.
Cause I knew. This was a new day. New beginnings for my precious son. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
My Sweet Asher,
Today was your first day of school. Yesterday I washed your sheets and put an extra cushion under your sheets so you would be extra comfy and sleep well. I tucked you in and prayed for you and for your first day of school. But I didn't cry. I was excited for you. I told you Jesus is always with you and He holds you in His hands.
You said "Mom, don't go, just tell me 3 more words."
You were trying to get me to tell you another story. Procrastinating bed time. Always have.
I held up one finger, "I"... then 2 fingers "love"....then three fingers "you". There you go, 3 words, I said smiling cause I knew that wasn't what you meant. You laughed and rolled your eyes like you do when you are teasing me. "Oh Mom".....and with that I walked out of the room. I didn't linger. I wanted to stay. I wanted to climb into bed and snuggle you all night long, keep you close. But I knew I couldn't. I knew it was time to walk out and know you were ok.
You climbed into bed with me around 5:30am. I didn't fall back to sleep. But you did. I listened to you breath. I praised the Lord for my sweet, healthy 5 year old kindergartner.
You didn't want to get up when it was time. You wanted to stay warm in my bed. You didn't want to tuck your shirt in either. Or have your hair combed. Have I mentioned you are not a morning person?
But mom knows the trick. Chocolate milk.
You and Bella and Mia laughed and laughed and played the whole way to school. Mia just learned to clap. Yesterday. We all love to see her do it. That little girl has brought us all even closer, than we were before. You love her so much. The night before, you told her you were going to miss your Mia Glory so much. I told you not to worry, Me, Daddy, Mia and Bella will be here waiting for you like every other day. And we always will be My Love. Always.
You were so brave and so proud walking into school. I pray you never lose that confidence. I pray it is always protected. And I know it will be....by the only one who can protect it. Not mommy. Not daddy. But Jesus. He holds you in His hands. Always.
We took some pictures and then I said goodbye. I didn't linger. I knew it was time to walk away and know you were ok.
I love you my sweet boy. My heart is full today. For you and for all that God has done and is going to do for our family.
We are blessed.
Happy first day of school, my sweet lovey boy.
P.S Bella is making you a card right now. She said it says "Dear Asher, I love you. We are coming to get you soon and I love you so much. And we will never go to jail"
She's prophetic you know.
She's prophetic you know.
I love you.
My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is steadfast and confident!
I will sing and make melody.