And They're Off!

It's week four of the school year, and I'm happy to say we've settled into our new routine nicely. We're getting the hang of middle school, third grade, and kindergarten, but the whole thing is still refreshingly new. The getting up in the dark is rough some days, but we're all enjoying the new experiences and the comforting routine of life. And the tears are subsiding for this momma who has sent one onto the runway to adolescence and one into the fray of big school for the first time.

Sam and I started out lonely...

Really, the whole first and second weeks seemed entirely too quiet. Sam quickly realized that he had the rule of the roost (including toys and Mommy), so his sadness faded into contentment after about, oh, thirty minutes.

Mommy took a little longer to realize that it wasn't such a bad thing having more time and attention to focus on Sam and other things. And when Mr. Big School gets home, our time together is all the sweeter for having missed one another. He's making friends like crazy, which isn't surprising, and declares his teacher to be "beautiful," with a dreamy quality to his voice and his head tilted to the side. I suppose I can share a tiny piece of his heart with her, especially since he assured me I was still the most beautiful.

Luke seriously headed to school with no looking back. Okay, he looked back for this picture, but only because he was asked to. Let me state that I am not a fan of this photo, since he looks six feet tall and is leaving me.

I also would appreciate it if kindergarten teachers didn't do things like send mushy gushy poems out on First Day of School Eve or send my sweet baby home with things like this tag. Sob.

It makes my attempts to deny reality and suppress my emotions all the harder.

And I have to say that I am oh so thankful that our transition to middle school has gone more smoothly than I could have ever dreamed. Unless this girl is keeping info from me and has her head completely in the clouds, it's been great. I am a little proud/shocked/amazed/saddened at the changes that have taken place in my first born in less than a month.

She has taken on the added responsibilities of lockers and P.E. clothes and keeping up with her work and changing classes like it's no big deal. Don't get me wrong. There were first day jitters, but since then, it's been smooth sailing. 

What a proud feeling it gives me to see her blooming. I love that she has such a quiet confidence about her. That must be God-given.
And let's not forget my other two school boys. Chris seems to have a renewed sense of joy and purpose in teaching high schoolers who can squelch joy and purpose with a roll of the eyes. And our little genius Jack is enjoying every second of third grade and blowing tests out of the water. Sweet boy must have smart parents. :)
(Just to clarify the photo above, I'm not making Jack take uncooked noodles for lunch. We have a lovely system for taking care of our recyclable items. It goes like this: I throw them in the floor by the basement door, then when a kid heads downstairs, I make them carry as much as they can to the box in the basement. See how organized and methodical we are?)
So the time I've dreaded as a momma has come. Another kid is off to big school, and every time I look at Sam, I think of the day he'll go. It's hard to see the days and years flying by, but I'm seeking the Lord for contentment. There are hard truths we have to learn, and this is a time of learning and accepting for me. Choosing thankfulness is key and something I'm getting a lot of practice at. It's also a pretty easy choice with blessings running out my ears like they are.
I'm also reminding myself of this truth: Contentment cannot be dependent on my enjoyment or misery in my circumstances. It is knowing that those circumstances are put in place by a God who will use them to achieve His purposes, which are good and loving, and gladly accepting whatever it takes to reach those goals. It is an undercurrent of peace and joy that comes from trusting the unerring hand of God.
So the Lord takes his hand and continues to write His story in our little family. It's pretty fabulous to be a part of it.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13


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