Today I dropped Zeke off at school for the first time, ever. Yes he is a first grader, but every day of Kindergarten I parked the car as close to the school as humanly possible (still about a block or two away), unloaded babies from car seats, loaded them in the double stroller and walked him to class. Then Connor became “independent” which is toddler code for “Lady, if you put me in that stroller I will scream the entire way to our destination in such a way that will make people wonder if I am wearing a shock collar” after that I just carried Amelia as we chased Connor to Zeke’s class…ah, memories.
Then for the first week of first grade we still made sure he got to class safely. I even dropped him off at the gym (where the kiddos are supposed to congregate before the school day begins) then drove around the school, parked the car, unloaded the littles and herded them to his class, where we would stand until the bell rang and the kiddos started filing in, just to make sure. Then our big boy would see us, flash us his brilliant smile and proudly point out his family to the other first graders (who were not super impressed with his nose picking brother and thumb sucking sister, though his swollen pregnant momma piqued their interest, “Is your mom gonna have ANOTHER kid???” and “How many kids do y’all have??”) Then we hugged him and said goodbye for the day, secure knowing that I had passed the precious torch of my beloved firstborn to his teacher and that she was aware that this loved child was now in her care.
Today I let my baby hop out of the car, watched his Spiderman backpack bob awkwardly on his skinny shoulders as he ran into the gym. I noticed every beautiful goofy detail of my child in those tiny seconds. How his hair is exactly like mine in color and texture as it flops in the wind, how his socks slouched at different lengths on his deceptively strong lean legs, how when he looked back and grinned at me he looked EXACTLY like his daddy, confident and sweet. And how much he loves people as he greets everyone he sees regardless of knowing them or not, a precious quality that is entirely his own.
I could see that the kids were already heading to their classes and I started to panic, my mind racing that he wouldn’t know what to do because the first graders were already out of sight and that he would get completely lost trying to find his class or what if he ended up in the highschool or locked out of the school somehow… what if…
Before I could complete a thought, before I could put the car in park and unload us to rescue him, he poked his head back out the gym door, blew us a kiss and mouthed, “Love you” then he took off running through the gym and out of my sight. Against every bit of momma instinct we drove away. As my resolve began to weaken and I began to pull the car over so I could call the school just to make sure he made it to class safely Connor started talking and pointing from the backseat, “God is right here, God is over there, God is out there, God is in that tree…”
Oh my word. Theology from the backseat.
As I giggled and hiccuped back my tears and began to play along pointing out all the places God is, understanding poured over me. I was never giving control of my child to someone else because he was never mine to control. His life belongs to One bigger and better than my imaginations or lofty ambitions. Zeke wasn’t all alone, God was and is in every detail, every step; perfect and complete. Instead of calling the school and seizing control from the Divine Author’s hands, I covered Zeke in prayers. And every time my momma heart wandered toward wondering about my boy, I prayed for him in that moment.
I know this isn’t my typical post, but today was so profoundly touching I needed to share what was placed on my gooey, needy, imperfect, thankful heart