We did it.
Today we watched as our biggest girl rose from her nightly slumber and blossomed into a young lady at the morning table. Today was her first day of 1st grade and she was ready.
And I was ready. We have planned, we have prayed and we have prepared. We made a good decision and have made sacrifices to make it all come together for our family and in doing so, I felt really great about seeing her smiling face this morning.
I told him to pull it together.
I did not cry, for the record. But I will admit that around 11 am I wanted to text Dana [the principal and my good friend] and ask how she was. I resisted per Rachel's strict advice.
"If she needs you, they'll call," said friends at lunch.
I trust them and so I listened.
Today I did it. The hardest thing that I have yet to do as a mom. I watched my little girl, who is so beautiful and so smart, walk confidently into her very own future.
I decided that I was going to make this the biggest and best day that I could for her. She would have a great backpack that she loves, a lunchbox with her name on it, and her hair would be waved with the waver if that's what she wanted.
Just like they always do, our village showed up to greet the day with Nora. Each of them makes every little thing that these kids do as special as I feel like it should be. They go out of their way to make Nora feel unique, Braden feel capable and Mabel feel protected.
I feel honored to have them.
Aunts woke up early and cried tears behind their sunglasses.
And it didn't matter that 8:30 am was
way too dang early for some, when I asked-they came.
She knew it was all for her.
Everything that I could have ever wanted, that I never asked for-I have received.
Friends who love my kids like their own. A sister who steps in and gently puts me at ease and grandmas who are amazing.
If Nora was going to love school it was only enhanced by the women in her life who rose up around her and promised her that there is nothing better than a fresh notebook or an unsharpened, crisp pencil. This time in her life is pretty special and we all know it.
I would have never dreamed that I would be sending her. I had a grand plan and I was going to be really good at teaching her. But God knew different. He aligned it just so and in the midst of all that felt very broken and unfair to me, He somehow pieced it together beautifully.
We chose the Christian school for many reasons. Ultimately it was just the best decision for this family at this time. When her daddy explained to her today how lucky she was to be able to talk about Jesus in school because some children can't-she confirmed that she was so glad because 'He is in her heart.'
It's really a great sacrifice for us and I consider it a great privilege to be able to give her this experience. Would I have sent her to public school? Yes. I would have.
Daniel and I both went and loved it and I know she would have been just fine. But I am so confident in this choice for this time in our lives. It isn't because we are super Christians or because we think it's the only way to educate our kids. It's just simply what felt right for all of us at this exact time in our lives.
Throughout the day I wondered what she was doing and if she was reading. I thought about her playing on the playground and wondered if she ate the apples I packed. I hoped that I hadn't forgotten to tell her that she can always ask to use the bathroom and that if she feels sick she can always come home. I felt like we had prepared her well but I couldn't help but question all of that. The hardest part, by far, is that I'm just going to miss her.
All in all, I did just fine and at the end of the day-so did she. In fact, she loved it and is excited to do it all again tomorrow.
Tonight we celebrated, like we do every year, with our back-to-school dinner.
With everything that our family has experienced in the last year, I felt so great that Nora was able to go into school having accomplished so much here at home with me. We worked hard on her writing and reading and math and I feel like it shows. That is something to be proud of, for both of us. I just can't wait to see it all enhanced as the days go on and hopefully she will be even more excited about learning.
Uncle Jake starts his freshman year tomorrow. It's an exciting time all around.
There are many changes happening but with change comes growth. I am so thankful that I have let the spirit of God lead our decisions and not hold us back from the great things that He has in store. I am a much more flexible mom than I ever knew I could be and it is a huge relief knowing that I am not in control, after all.
My greatest hope for this year is that my little girl can begin to grow into the young lady that God created her to be. I want what He has placed inside of her to be smoothed and perfected as she grows and learns. I want her to learn important lessons and not just how to subtract. I pray that she begins to see things with a different vision and that we can all rally around her to mold her the way that we should. This is a special time, indeed.
1st day of 1st grade-Success.
4 days til Race Day! Will we see YOU there?