I'm really vowing to start the school year off on the right foot. And getting back to blogging is one of the things I think will help. Sometimes it can just be all too much. Like worrying about Lily's writing (way behind, and she hates it) and the fact that Imogene has started crossing her eyes and I think sometimes it's on purpose and sometimes it is not. Hmph. Call to the doctor. Or that the sweet little thing is covered all over her legs with bug bites. She gets them so easily because she doesn't move as fast as the rest of us and she can't really coordinate swatting them away. 20+ bites all over her body.
And then I read blogs of my friends who make me weak with guilt for worrying at all about my kids - a favorite friend is dealing with cancer in one son and CP in the other. Really, Really? What do I have to complain about?
But complain I do. Because I cannot believe we have 3 therapies to go to this fall (we are back in speech therapy). Because our washing machine smells like fish. Yep. Fish. Because Bill has traveled every week since Mid-May and has 4 more weeks on the schedule to go. straight. It just seems so much sometimes.
I am feeling so stressed about Lily starting first grade and it is all so much and what if she falls behind.
And then I read this from my new favorite blog Momastery. You have to follow it if you don't already. She's also on Facebook. She's freaking amazing. This is her letter to her kids that they get on the first day of school every year.
And I remember.
Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade – wow.
Chase – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and
sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his
head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his
homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The
other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and
lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next
to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and
played by himself. He must have been very lonely.
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me.
I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The
children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part
of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust
that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your
heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever
you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and
that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.
Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.
Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and
then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit
next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who
usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can
do hard things.
Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away.
That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then
tell us. We are on your team – we are on your whole class’s team.
Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together.
When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please
do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God
when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember
feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t.
Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.
Chase – We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest
or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care
if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As.
We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked
first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your
teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or
most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.
We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We
already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn
our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that
you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion
is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.
Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.
Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy . . . with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.
I love you so much that my heart might explode.
Enjoy and cherish your gifts.
And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.