Sometimes the most profound lessons come from the most unexpected places.
If you’re paying attention at all, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted a blog in a long time. Like, more than a year. There’s a reason, actually. Not one about which I will go into much detail at the moment, but suffice it to say that I have a reason for my absence, one that I hope will be something you enjoy. (Annoyingly cryptic, I know.) But not now, soon…
That being said, I’ve recently gone through a rather profound chapter change in my life that I felt worth sharing, so I’ve decided to take a brief hiatus from my hiatus (did you see what I did there?) to regale you with a little peek into my life of late.
You see, yesterday was the first day of school (collective eye roll, I know. If you’re on Facebook at all — and especially if you don’t have kids — you’re choking on first day of school pics). But for me, it was the first day of kindergarten for child number one. In other words, it was a big day in the Farris household. People kept asking me if I was ready for it and I, too, rolled my eyes. “Yes,” I would say emphatically. “Why ever would I not be?” After all, he had been to preschool last year. It was fine. I didn’t even cry. Neither did he.
But yesterday, as I dropped him off, kissed his little cheek still plump with the last vestiges of baby fat, and walked away, I realized I was indeed NOT READY for this next chapter. Not at all.
I was mercifully able to hold it together until I got the parking lot. God knew that if I fell apart in front of him, he very well would have been scarred for life and never gone back. My husband too, was a little misty-eyed on the car ride back home. The quiet, rainy car ride. Fitting, I thought, that it should rain on his first day of real school. Fitting for my contemplative soul, anyway.
It was my husband, of course, who poured wisdom into the moment. “It’s moments like these,” he said, “where I feel sorry for people who don’t have children.” An odd observation, I thought. “Why?” I asked. “Because it’s not until you’re faced with something like stepping away from your kids that you realize just how much you love them. How much it hurts to be away from them. And it’s in those moments that you realize that if God loves us even an iota as much as we love our kids, we’re going to be okay.”
Well said, husband. Well said.
We started musing about our little first born — how he tends to be so tender-hearted and sweet. How when he messes up, the first thing he asks either one of us is, “But do you still love me?”
Of course, I always want to yell. What a ridiculous question! Of course I still love you, son! I’ll never stop! The question often exasperates me until I realize — don’t I do the very same thing to God? Don’t I think, in my flawed view of His love for me, that when I mess up, He’s waiting to waggle a finger and say, “I told you so. I don’t love you as much anymore.”
And so it was, on the first day of school for my little kindergartener that I learned one of the most profound lessons I’ve learned in a long time. That our love for our children, like so many of the wonders of this miracle we call Creation, is such a sweet portrait of the Creator’s love for us.
So as you send your babies off to school, as you rock your newborn at 3am and wonder if you’ll ever sleep again, as you send your oldest off to college and wonder if they’re ready, remember with me that He loves us even more than that. He’s jealous for us even more than we are for our children. And He’s waiting with open arms for when we return home to say, “How was your day, my love? Tell me all about it!”