It's that time again. Time to plant our feet, breath deep, search for strength, and let go. It is a time to prepare, to fill up with healthy food, soft socks, sharp pencils. Each year there is a twinge of sorrow mixed with the excitement of newness and anticipation for what is to be learned.
In the past, I have made it a habit to write letters to the teachers who will be spending their days with my children. I take the time to explain their nuances that have become so recognizable to me as a Mother, but would otherwise be hard to notice. I thank them for their commitment to teaching, for the honor of sharing my children with me. I re-assure them that we will do our part as parents, reinforcing what will be learned in the classroom, challenging our children to do the best that they can, processing the pains and frustrations of sticky social situations, helping them think critically and responsibly about the world.
In the morning, I fill them up, sing a song, say a prayer, and watch them wander off, closer to independence than what is comfortable for me. It is making them bigger and stronger for the world. They are expanding their circles of community beyond what I can provide to them. With each moment, they are broadening their perspective. They are finding their way.
I am proud of their ability to enter into situations of uncertainty.
I am proud of their ability to communicate what they need in a second language.
I am proud of the ways they take care of each other, peeking in a recess and sitting together on the bus.
They are growing in so many ways.
Dear God, please give them happy memories of these times together. As the seasons change, let them be open to change within themselves. Give them the tools they need to be a good friend, to grow in confidence, and to live in community with their classmates and teachers. And may they be released and welcomed with my love in as many ways as they continue to need it. Amen.