Back to School Post

I was feeling nostalgic the other morning, because the birds were quiet and it was cooler and it reminded me of being younger and starting school for a new year. (Much younger, since the big 5-0 is around the corner, ha!)

Picking out school supplies and getting a new outfit were something I looked forward to. I'm geeky that way, in that I love school and office supplies and books and organizing things like planners. I didn't always get something from the store since my mom mostly made our clothes (or they were yard sale items), but I didn't care. It was school stuff that really held my interest.

One item in particular, the mechanical "push-up" pencil, was my favorite. It was a plastic tube that housed several nesting sharp pencil leads that were pulled out of the bottom and pushed into the top, to reveal a new sharpened end. You would stick a cap eraser on the end, since it didn't have an eraser, which was wonderful because I loved new cap erasers (until I couldn't resist the temptation and would bite the end off).

My kids have never experienced the excitement of school supply shopping. Yes, we do need school supplies for homeschooling. But I buy them online, and they end up here when they need them, without much fanfare.

This year will be different for us, since our son is going to the local Catholic school. He is doing so because in West Virginia, one cannot participate in public sports if one is educated at home. He just turned 13 and he's almost six foot tall now, so it is hard for him to practice with anyone playing community sports because they are all playing for their schools now.

The first day of school for my son will be August 24. The meet and greet for the parents is August 22. I have a very hard time putting in to words how I feel about this. Those who have always had their kids in public school probably think I'm being ridiculous and making a big deal out of nothing. I don't care. It is a big deal to me.

Not only will my son be going to a semi-public school (since this Catholic school uses the public school buses for transportation and participates with public school sports), he will not be with us during the day. Now he will be at his school more than he'll be with his family.

I have cried. I have lost sleep. I have prayed. Still, my husband's decision is to send him.

He hurt his knee during Pee Wee (community) football last year. Chipped his kneecap, for which nothing can be done. I hoped this would make a difference going forward with school. The only difference it made is that he will be playing football for the public middle school with a painful chipped kneecap.

My girls will still be home with me. One is 16 and the other will soon be 12.  For their school this year, both of them will be doing some things online and some things with me. I will read aloud to them and we will have tea parties and bake things and go on field trips. They talk about how weird it will be for their brother to not be home with them this year.

Sigh. I may cry again.

The truly big deal in all of this is that I call myself a Christian--a Christ-follower. I have taught my children -- all three of them -- that Jesus is the reason for our lives, the way to the Father, and the One who cares about us and will never leave us. I have told them we can trust Him, because He understands who we are better than we do, and He prays for us all the time. I have shown them that Jesus is the center of everything and that nothing exists without Him.

Now comes the test of my faith. Do I really believe what I say I believe? Do I trust God with my son? God is already at the end of everything, so I know He has the wisdom I need to get through this massive shift in our family life.

Fearless is the word that I felt God gave me as my "one-word" for this year. Little did I realize what that meant for me. I still don't.

But as we go back to school, I must press on and keep running, even if I don't understand why things are the way they are. Trusting God really is my only true option.