Monday, August 15, 2011

First Days

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.

"Not Fair" 
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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.
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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.
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.....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?
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"Not fair"

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.
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and I didn't cry.

Not until I walked out and the classroom door shut behind me.

Then I cried.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Happy first day of school, my sweet lovey boy.

Love, Mom.

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.

I love you.

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is steadfast and confident!
I will sing and make melody.
Psalm 57:7



16 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, what a sweet post! You need to revise it to say "warning, reading may require tissues" at the top!

    The pictures are great too - and your whole family is beautiful!

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  2. Well first of course, I have to pint out how absolutely handsome he is! Beautiful post. I am always excited for school. I get to hear all about their new adventures! You said is perfectly, Jesus has him in his hands always. Rest in that my friend. xoxo

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  3. There you go again Laura...making me cry :) such a sweet post. I am feeling so many of the same feelings right now as my 1st angel starts Kinder 1 week from today...very encouraging words and love the pics and Bella's card :) Hope Asher had a great 1st day at school :)

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  4. this is the sweetest thing. oh.my.goodness...you are beautiful and your family is precious, absolutely precious. love your writing. how sweet will it be for asher to read your words one day. xoxo dear friend!

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  5. just beautiful. the photos, your precious family, and your words. i'm constantly reminding myself to cherish each season, even when they're hard and even when you have to let go.

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  6. What a beautiful post, but more than that, what beautiful words, feelings, and memories to keep forever. This post had me in tears and goosebumps from beginning to end. Thank you for the gentle reminders of what Jesus looks like in this stay at home mamma world. Your living testimonies touch a sweet spot in my heart and are used as encouragement and inspiration. Thank You!

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  7. your children are absolutely precious! i can struggle watching mine grow so fast...i just want them to stay young.

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  8. Ahh, what a post. So true, and these are things I am reminded of daily. I want to hold on to my baby and never let him change and grow up but it wouldn't be fair to him anyway to miss out on all the wonders of life, the growing and the learning. What a beautiful way you have reminded us to live in the moment, and to cherish each step forward as well. Thank you...and I am sharing this!

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  9. ok, let me wipe the tears off my keyboard before I continue typing...I'm so glad to have found your blog, thanks for stopping by mine. My oldest started Kindergarten last week. We're kind of going through a bit of a rough patch with her behavior wise.It has been so easy to just 'get through' the day that I really have to make an effort to slow down and just BE and ENJOY and BE THANKFUL. You helped me remember. Thanks!

    Jessica

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  10. LAURA...you made me cry. I love your perspective. My oldest starts Jr.High next Monday. I want to lock him up and throw away the key. I know I can't. He is so excited to be starting this new chapter. I love seeing his excitment, and have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow. But why, WHY do they have to grow.
    So yeah I am cherishing it. I come out and sit through 3 hours of football practice every night because pretty soon our nights will be free and the boys will be off living their own lives and me and my Mr. Will be dying to have them back and going to practice.
    Ok sorry longest comment ever. Thanks for your sweet comment today.
    xxO

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  11. Hi, I hopped over from LMM and felt compelled to comment!
    I'm not a mom but I can relate to your struggle somewhat. I've been helping my (twin) sister set up her classroom for the past month and we've been thinking of the struggle parents of kindergardeners must go through. It seems like you all have to trust the teachers a lot -enough to share your kids and their education with them. And hearing your side of the story- it doesn't seem easy! It was so neat to hear God's words to you as you began to let go of your cute little boy :)

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  12. wow, laura, you are such an excellent mom. feel encouraged by what a great job you're doing! i once heard it said that in the garden, when God lays out the curses for sin, the one about women having pain in childbirth is not limited to the actual separation during birth, but may also refer to the pain from the gradual separation we feel throughout their whole childhood. an interesting take on it, huh? well, i loved your post. and it's okay to cry in the car after drop off. :)

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  13. The hardest part is letting them spread their wings. I just want to hold on tightly. Your family is beautiful and your love for your children is touching.

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  14. sweet, sweet post. you are a blessing to your family, laura! xo

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  15. Well, let me wipe the tears up off of my desk. This was beautiful. What a true true post. I too find myself being sad for the moments that are passing, or approaching, but I am reminded to be still. Let Jesus take care of my boy. He made him. He loves him even more than I do. I am reminded to cherrish today. See the beauty that today brings and focus on that and only that. Do not worry about tomorrow, the next day or the next week. God's in control. Beautiful post!

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