Photo by Ladyheart on Morgue File.
Today is my four-year old’s first day of Pre-K. It is hard for me to believe she is already old enough to be in Pre-K! She has attended, and will continue to do so on certain days, an in-house daycare in our town. I am hoping this experience will help her adjust and thrive in her new Pre-K.
I must say she was very excited about starting this new adventure. As I put her to bed last night, she was excited about today and ready to get started. Even this morning, I could tell she was excited and anxious to start.
My wife and I both are a little emotional about the whole thing. My wife said she felt as though she could cry! We walked in with her and dropped her off and told her we loved her and reminded her to behave and mind her teacher. Even then she seemed to be doing well.
I could tell she was a bit nervous about the newness of it all. She has this nervous tic where she pinches her neck. She started doing that as we were about to leave. I know she had to be feeling some nerves and anxiety . . . being in a new place, with new faces, is never easy.
Thankfully, she has a good bit of my wife in her. My wife is an extrovert. So, I am hopeful that part of her will win the day today. I, as an introvert, know how my first days tend to go . . . let’s just say there is always lots of angst and crying!
As a parent, it is hard to experience these transition phases. On one hand you are glad she is growing and maturing; but, on the other, you want her to remain a little girl. Alas, she cannot stay a little girl, no matter how much I may want her to do so.
It is during these times of transition that you get to see how well you have done thus far in your parenting! The results are still out . . . I will have to tell you after the day is done!
I prayed for her last night and again this morning. I prayed she would adjust and adapt and fit in and do well. I pray that she will love it and be excited about learning and all that goes with it.
I have learned that a big part of being a parent is letting go. It happens incrementally, a step at a time, but more and more you let go and let your kids be who God created them to be. Yes, I will admit, I am not so fond of that part of the job!
But, I am realizing more and more it is a necessary part of being a parent. God has a purpose for my four-year old. A purpose for her to thrive and develop into a Christ-honoring young woman. My part, as her dad, is to help her along the way; and, with each step let go a little bit more.
Too often, as parents, we try to cling to our kids. We try to stunt their growth and keep them just as they are, or, just as we want them to remain. We try to live vicariously through them: wanting them to be who we wish we had been.
I do not want to burden my daughters with such non-sense. My life is mine, it is not their responsibility to fill in the void where I am lacking. I want them to soar and thrive and inspire. I want them to dream the impossible, and with God’s help, to do it!
I do not care how much money they will ever have in their bank account or their 401K or whatever else. I do not care if they reach the heights of “success” as determined by this flawed and failing world. I want them to soar and thrive and inspire in the grace and love of Christ. I want them to be red-hot burning flames of passion and devotion to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I want them to be all God has purposed them to be.
For any of that to happen, I will have to let go more and more. In order for them to soar, they cannot be tethered to the ground.
O Lord, I pray you will watch over her this day. I pray that you will give her a good day: a day of newness, of wonder, of excitement and of discovery. I pray that you will protect her and help her. I pray you will encourage her when she is anxious. I pray you will uplift her when she fills lonely. I pray you will be a light to her. Help her to make friends. Help her to be a friend to others. Help her to be respectful and mind her teachers. Help her, by your grace, to learn, grow and thrive. Guide her steps as she continues to grow and mature into the woman you have created and purposed her to be. For your glory and honor . . . and my peace of mind! Amen.