So those two little fellas are starting school tomorrow.
I am a bit sad, really, because that smallest one with the bald head is going to kindergarten.
And I don't want him to go.
The biggest one is starting fourth grade.
He's becoming more independent each and every day.
It is absolutely horrible!
It's just that for nine years now I have been home with babies, and tommorrow I will still be home.
But without them.
It's not just the starting kindergarten thing that makes me cry; it's the being home alone thing too. When I gave up teaching to stay home with my first son, I quickly jumped right back in to working through teaching Sunday school and tutoring students on the side. But when we moved to Columbia, I stayed home with my babies completely for two and a half years. Meaning, I didn't tutor or work outside of my home or volunteer much at all. And every time my sweet Key went to school, I would count down the minutes until I could go pick him back up again and bring him home. Home was a place of safety. Yet, starting in the spring of his 4K year, I got sick. Couldn't leave the house or drive kind of sick. And when he started kindergarten, I thought it would be good for all of us. I thought he could get out of the house and make new friends, and I could rest with Kelly. Only, that's not exactly what happened. I did rest. And I did need it. But I also became a hermit, still counting down the minutes until I could bring Key home. Some days the only time I left my house was to walk across the street to pick him up from school. There were days when even that one responsibility seemed too much because I felt so nauseous. So, so nauseous. And even more than the off and on again bouts of illness, the anxiety and fear of leaving home became almost overwhelming. The anxiety started defining my day. And home started looking a bit more like prison.
Eventually I recovered from by medical condition, but in the year it took to get well, the walls closed in on me. And, by default, they also closed in on my children. If it weren't for my responsibility to them, I might not have ever left my house. But I did, leave my house that is, with some help from a really good therapist and a lot of prayer and support from friends and family. And once I was well enough to appear normal, the final saving grace for healing was a place called St. Martin's. A preschool. Most people drop their kids and run. Away. Freedom for three or four hours. For most, those hours of peace and quiet are precious. For me, the solitude I had just escaped had almost sucked the life out of me. For me, the chaos was precious. Women. Children. All needing my help. Needing me. It was a place for me to work, and a place for Kelly to safely emerge from his shell. St. Martin's quickly became a sanctuary for my precious Kelly and for me.
So now, here we are in Rock Hill, and we have moved again.
And my kids will start school - both of them.
I am terrified of those walls in my home.
It was the worst kind of fear - not being able to leave my house.
The worst kind of hurt - to feel useless.
The worst kind of guilt - not being that happy, healthy mom.
And I realize that I cannot go back to that kind of pain.
Which brings me to these two quotes that I found last week from Mother Teresa.
Loneliness and the fear of being unwanted is the worst kind of poverty.
I want you to be concerned about your neighbor. Do you know your neighbor?
These wise words are going to help me conquer my fear of letting my children grow up and of being left behind.
I have a plan. Several small ones, actually.
And I will let you know how they progress.
But for now,
Please be with all of us that are letting our little ones go off into the big wide world each day. Please be with our children. And please be with us, that we may fill our days seeking your guidance, feeling your love, and doing your will for our lives.
P.S. Please help me not to cry when I drop them off at school tomorrow. It is just plain embarrassing.