Today our ‘last’ child drove away for the ‘last’ time for a first day of school. It wasn’t that long ago that he had the cat in his lap, made himself a cozy nest in a laundry basket, and proclaimed himself ready for kindergarten. Different cat today, and the curriculum has certainly progressed (hey! Phonics worked!), but again he took some things to make himself a cozy nest while he settles in to do the hard work of preparing for a career.
But you know what? Instead of feeling an overwhelming wave of sorrow or emptiness, what I felt instead was an irresistible, tremendous surge of gratitude. This child for whom I prayed and with whom I worked so long; this child is going to be just fine. He struggled for five years to overcome dyslexia, sounding out words bit by bit well into fifth grade. Yet like a tiny single prop airplane, when he finally lifted off – oh, away he soared – higher, higher, higher – with seemingly no bounds to where he could go. Trust me, his reading comprehension has come a long, long way, baby. I am so grateful.
So, today, that sweet-faced boy is a mechanical engineering student well past all that calculus and linear algebra and – well, past me! I laugh to think how I worried that he would never learn to borrow for subtraction! I laugh to think how worried I was that he was having to learn how to learn. Even at 7, 8, or 9, under the watchful guidance of his older siblings when I was away, he developed the understanding that learning was important and working at it made a sweeter victory when something was understood and conquered. How can I now be sad to see the seeds thus planted and prayed over coming to a bountiful and blessed harvest as he drives away to his own life and career? I can’t!
Just as God was faithful to lead and guide and provide for our family during those long, full, ride-them-like-a-rollercoaster years of homeschooling, God is faithful today. After 33 years with kids in the home as my primary focus and priority, I turn my eyes to tomorrow -- what is next? If God so ordains, and Jesus tarries, I may yet have 30 or 33 more years on this earth. I’m excited to see the “first” that this “last” ushers in!
But I’m still going to be really happy to see that kid, come Thanksgiving break! <3