Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I will go ahead and apologize for this incredibly long post, but this is definitely stuff that a mother wants to document.
With one week of pre-k under our belts, we are far from being settled in to our new routine but we can definitely handle this. Can I just say I am thankful for the rain, but good grief, we literally got washed into the classroom the first three days!
J is all too independent, and while I knew she would be just fine, it was me that I was really worried about. She had been counting down the days. I was talking to my dad the night before she started and he said, “Oh, she is going to do great! She’ll be just like (her Aunt) Jamie was, she’ll love school and be the kind of kid that made guys like me look bad.” Notice he didn’t say “like her mother.” :)
Her good friend and the only kid in the class she knew would not be attending on J’s first day, so I thought I’d get a good early start on preparing her for that. On the Saturday before school started I gently said, “Now, sweetie, Adi won’t be there on your first day, but she will be there on your second day.” I held my breath while I waited for her response. Sounding almost a little annoyed, she said, “Mom--I’m going to make new friends!”
Well, of course she would. What was I thinking?
So Mario & I took her to her class on her first day. Sounds simple, but in the middle of a MONSOON, sporting high heels and carrying a 15 month old while trying to handle a massive umbrella, it was more like a recipe for disaster. The wind nearly lifted me off the ground and J’s first day of preschool was feeling more like a scene from Mary Poppins. Truth be known, if I thought the teacher would have let me stay the entire day, I would have done it rather than face the weather again. So we snapped a few photos and M ran on to work. I thought I should hang around for a bit…only she didn’t seem like she cared either way. “Momma’s going to stay for a few more minutes, and then I am going to have to drop your brother off, okay?”
“Okay.” She was clearly unshaken by my statement about leaving. I hung around for a few, but Bubby was getting into EVERYTHING, so I decided to make a dash for the car. I kissed her and closed the classroom door. No tears…at least from her. But as I leaned onto my tip toes to peer through the window on her classroom door and watch her as she walked over to some other little girls and started playing, tears began to run down my cheeks. My little girl, was growing up so fast. Of course she still needed me, but not at that very moment. She was just fine…and making new friends!
I entrusted her into someone else’s care and that scared me. Ever since she was a baby, she has gone everywhere with me. Back in those days she traveled to practice with me every day. On the days of home games, she came with me. She hung out in the locker room while I dressed, and sat on my lap in the training room while I got taped. At nine months old she traveled to Florida with us and a couple of months later to Mississippi (and a lot of places in between). In Mississippi, we won the conference tournament on a last second shot. On the front page of the school paper was a picture of a huge crowd on their feet celebrating. In the middle of the crowd was my dad throwing his right arm out in front of him shouting and Mario was doing something similar. But in the midst of all the excitement, there she was, sound asleep on Mario’s shoulder! That year we made it to the NCAA Division II Final Four. The games aired on ESPN2 and they showed her sitting with the rest of my family watching the game! When I graduated and started working, there were many times that she would come to work with me. She still loves to come to my office.
In October of 2007, when she was 3 ½ years old, she learned the ENTIRE 91st Psalm. It took about two whole weeks to teach it to her, but she retained every bit of it and could recite it to perfection…all 16 verses.
While I was nervous about entrusting her into someone else’s care, God quickly reminded me that she was still in his care. When I made it back to the car, I put Bubby in his car seat. The wind was blowing so hard and the rain was pouring into the car while I struggled to snap the harness. I climbed back into the driver’s seat and just prayed out loud for a long time. I’m so glad that there is a God in Heaven who knows my name, and the names of my children. I’m so thankful that he cares about what’s nearest and dearest to my heart. I prayed over J on her first day, and for the upcoming school year.
My sister gave me a prayer calendar a year or so ago. I can’t say enough about how important it is to pray over our children. Each day I pray that my children’s hearts will desire only the things of God. And he is already answering those prayers. J is totally intrigued with bible stories right now. She wants to hear them in the morning, in the car, at naptime and bedtime. She carries her little bible everywhere. She has slept with it many a night and Mario said to her once last week, “I notice you have been sleeping with your bible.”
“That’s because I love Jesus, and I love my baby brother.”
Praise you Lord for answering prayers. May she never lose that desire to know more about you.
Last night, like clockwork, she set in to hear bible stories. For some reason, the story of Jacob and Esau is her favorite. Normally she has to have the light on to see the pictures, but this time I convinced her to just close her eyes and listen while I told it. I told about how Isaac prayed for Rebekah to have a child, and God gave them twins. I explained how Esau was all red and hairy, and Jacob was all smooth. As I tried to transition into their later years so I could really get to the story I just said, “So time passed and the boys grew into young men.” J immediately interrupted me and said, “No, you forgot to say Esau became a skillful hunter and his brother Jacob was a quiet man. That’s what my bible book says.” She was exactly right. Is she like a little sponge or what?
Several nights ago we were lying down ready for bed and she asked me, “Momma, do you know why I was acting that way tonight?” (Bridget and Preston had came to the house, and she was literally bouncing off walls)
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I am just happy, momma.”
I smiled, “That’s wonderful sweetheart, I want you to be happy. Momma prays every day for your heart to be full of joy and happiness.”
“You know what, momma?”
“What, sweet girl?”
My heart just melted. I squeezed her tight and then she said, “You know another reason I was acting like that?”
“All that sugar—you know the kind that makes me bounce off the walls.”
“J, I didn’t give you any sugar tonight…”
“I know, I’m talking about the kind at vacation bible school!”
I was puzzled because VBS was back in July. That night when I was picking up after the kids were in bed, I found a brown paper bag that she had made at VBS. Inside were empty tootsie roll wrappers and some other stuff. I guess she knew what she was talking about after all. I’d like to know where she had that stashed.
I know this has been a super long post, but I’m almost finished. So I pulled into the line and watched her while waiting my turn to pick her up on the first day and I realized just how much she still needs me! :) She was so precious sitting there on the bench next to the other kids in a dry spot with it pouring down rain all around them--Part of her seeming so grown up and the other part of her looking around nervously for her mommy. She couldn’t see my car yet, but I could see her. She was scanning…looking...waiting. I kept waving but she wasn’t seeing me yet. She was swinging her little legs back and forth and I knew she was ready to see me. She was still wearing her sweet little (and very fashionable I might add) sweater cap that she had picked out to wear on her first day. I hope I never forget just how fresh and sweet she looked wearing her new backpack and sitting ever so patiently. I love that girl!