Monday, January 28, 2013

First day of school

You guys probably saw this post coming, from the woman who turned Vacation Bible School into some kind of angst-ridden rite of passage, but Toby and Brynn started school today, so get out your hankies, or a wad of Great Value 1-ply Toilet Tissue or whatever.

Last night Toby came in late after a daddy-date, and I held him in the chair in his room. It's getting more complicated to hang on to him with all the arms and legs and his tallness, but we found a way and he snuggled up to me, just like he did as a infant, back when his very presence reminded me that God hears prayers. "Tomorrow," I said, "You will go to big boy school. And that's different for us, but you are going to really like it." He turned his head in, too tired to be a brave big kid and whispered, "I don't want to go to big-boy school, I want to stay with you..." And that was the moment, the moment when I let go with arms that ache to hold on, when I have to fight every instinct that says, "Hold on, hold on!" and force myself to send him, to send them away from me and towards who they are becoming. "You're going to love it," I stammered, lying to myself and telling him the truth.

This morning, I walked in with them after promising Toby I would stay as long as he needed me. Surprisingly it was Brynn that got shy and nervous. I stood in the corner for a minute while they got settled, Toby completely disregarding "school etiquette" and chatting up the boys around him. I am grateful for this school taking my kids mid-year and being willing to take on unschooled kids, literally and figuratively. I worked my way to the door, so proud of my children for their adaptability and willingness to embrace change, and at the same time, feeling a tearing inside, a separation from the babies I fought to carry, fought to keep alive, fought to teach joy and contentment, compassion. I am fighting now to give them what they need, to give R2 what he needs, to embrace this season and to be joyful and content regardless of the circumstances.

I cried all the way home, ugly cried. I cried because my first baby is so, so sick, and because my plans have changed, and because my life is out of control, and because God is good but He's not obedient. I cried because this is not what I wanted. Then I stopped crying and bought baby wipes and changed some diapers and accepted it. It's not what I asked for but it is worth it, and I know God is with us. Life is still good, God is still good. I am so, so blessed, and I will be thankful.

(Oh, and they loved it and asked if they can please go back tomorrow)


  1. This helps. Im feeling such school anxiety for mine. I could never comprehend the things youre going through but I know a mothers love and I pray everyday for your strength, r2s health and toby, brynn and tristans understanding. Love you.

    Lacy(your neice) kelpen

  2. O.k. i guess i needed a good cry before bed. You're totally on my heart every day. There really aren't words. You're one of the beautiful people. Lots of love and hugs from down here in the woods.

  3. Hey Jess- I've never actually met you, but we are part of the community here and we have adopted from Hannah's and we know and love some of the same people. Anyway, my two older babies go to the same school, I teach there in the afternoons, and I get to be there on Tuesday morning. I had the priviledge of meeting your sweet kiddos. And I got to make them their blue folder and white binder for catechism and psalm. :) Precious fun. And they were amazing. Blessings to you guys and we are glad to have you at school! Even amidst drama, tears, joy, and the sustaining presence of the Creator God. Just wanted you to know. --Lydia Harrigan


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