She starts high school in a couple of days.
That little brown-eyed baby girl made me a mother and now I’m wishing I could make the clock slow down.
I showed her how to make her bed and her lunch and now she’s showing me how she will make her way.
Something special happened this summer. We don’t always get to see our kids grow-it’s slow and steady, it’s something we recognize after the fact. But there was a moment when time slowed down and I noticed the tilt of her chin, the determination in her eyes, the rapture of deciding who she is and realizing no one can take that away.
It was a brief glimpse of her becoming and it was beautiful.
She’s ready for those Chuck Taylors to take her places.
My son is starting junior high. His growth is obvious, man-sized hands and feet, hard to miss. I’ve never known a more g00d-natured soul, the kind of person who you just want to be around all the time. He is insightful and funny. He brings peace along with him.
I pray an invisible shield around his kind and thoughtful heart and pray the world doesn’t chip away his strength and resolve.
My baby, a second grader. Oh, time.
We finished up school supplies and my oldest asked about her high school list. I told her the teachers would tell her everything she needs on the first day of school.
“Mom, I need a pencil and paper at least. I can’t go unprepared,” her way of saying, One more trip to Target, please?
Prepared. We spend a lot of time in preparation, don’t we, moms?
But there isn’t a school supply list in the world that contains all I want to give my kids and it’s not what the world tells me they need.
While our culture says they need more selfies and self esteem, I want my kids to be more selfless. Find the new kid.
While our world says they need to fit in, I want my kids to stand out. Be different. Be themselves.
While our society says they are not enough, I want my kids to know that’s okay. Because Jesus is Enough.
The Real Back-to-School Supply List:
We can instill purpose in them | We are raising kids in a culture that is constantly changing its moral code. And without deep-rooted purpose, it’s far too easy for our children to get tossed around by whatever is politically correct or by social norms that shift without warning. If we don’t teach our kids we are here to glorify God and our ultimate purpose is to know Him and make Him known, no one else will.
We can encourage positive community around them| When we’re expecting our kids to live in the world, but not be like it, it’s absolutely crucial to provide opportunities for positive community. It’s actually not always convenient to attend church youth group or get together with like-minded friends, but it must be a priority. Kids need to feel like they belong somewhere. And they will.
We can offer them a safe place to fall and fail | Our kids grow through failure. We all have bad days and offering them a safe place to be themselves is a gift. If they have to keep it all together all the time, they just might fall part in the wrong place. Be their safety net. We don’t have to expect failure, but our kids should be able to expect our support no matter what.
We can remind them to be kind and thoughtful to others | Nothing makes me prouder than when I hear that my kids were kind to the new kid or reached out to someone. Parents are often the best teachers. When we take time to serve or put others first, we are teaching our children that this is valuable.
We can show them the beauty of faithfulness when life is hard | In our culture, it’s too easy to quit when things get tough. When we are faithful in hardships, this is when we learn. This is success. Expecting our kids to be faithful to their commitments is something they will carry through life.
We can choose to live in peace | Our world is in chaos. It’s a scary time to be raising kids today and we can’t predict or provide peace in the world. But we can try and provide it at home. We can pick our battles with each other and especially with those who choose to live differently than we do. It’s not really about tolerance; it’s about love.
So, let’s send our kids armed with backpacks and scissors and number 2 pencils, new shoes, a great breakfast and a pat on the back to, “do your best,” but let’s also remember there are important things we can offer them that can’t be found on the Back to School aisle.