Tuesday, January 08, 2013
I'm busy chopping up garlic for dinner when he walks into the kitchen. I feel him there. His presence. It's familiar to me. His body - in our home - for so many of his days. He starts attending public school tomorrow for the first time. He's quiet. He's been excited about this new adventure, but in this moment, I can tell he's more introspective than usual.
Then it comes.
"Mom, do you have any advice for me - you know - for tomorrow."
My soul smiles wide. Strange how one question can bring an anxious mother's heart deep peace. There are seeds of wisdom in his young heart, and what more could a mother hope for her son?
I pause and think of all the million things I want to say. The words I want to use to wrap him up tight and protect him. I think of my school years, realizing times surely must be worse - I shudder. I can't imagine school being worse than it was when I walked through junior high halls.
There is so much I want to say, but all that comes out is this...
"Look for those who are low, child - and lift them up. Notice the ones who - for whatever reason - and there are many - your classmates have declared "less than" or "unworthy" and speak worth into their lives. Look for the suffering and offer them safety and relief.
And before you say anything terribly clever and sarcastic to your new friend about one of your teachers, make darn sure that friend isn't related to that teacher."
Then I went on to tell him about how I had made that mistake my first week at a new school. He always gets a kick out of hearing the many ways I failed big when I was his age. Good thing I have a never-ending bag of examples to pull out and share with him.
Before leaving the house this morning, I hugged him hard, reminded him how incredibly valuable he is, how proud we are of him, and then told him he's grounded if he doesn't come home today and fully satisfy my need for information. "I want details. Tons of them. Tons and tons. Like every last one of them."
He walked away, schedule in his hand, brave and confident as ever.
Posted by Hendrick Family