I sent my baby to kindergarten this year, and I didn’t shed a single tear.
I dropped my son off to fend for himself, and nothing but eager anticipation left the building with me.
That’s quite impressive for someone like me. Even the simplest, most expected changes have been known to throw me into a full-on sob fest. (Think night-before-the-new-semester break down in college. Every time.)
I like routine. I thrive on regularly scheduled programming. Give me an adventure, and I’ll give you an anxious companion.
The summer-to-fall transition has historically brought the biggest jolt to my comfy routine.
And as an adult, even the excitement of the PSL returning isn’t enough to overshadow the sense of sadness that can accompany the changing season.
That’s why the absence of my annual cry fest has been a bit puzzling.
Yes, this year I seem to be taking all this change in stride.
Did I mention, my youngest started kindergarten?
I’d like to think this means I’m maturing. That I’ve learned that time marches on and I should be grateful the children are growing because that’s the natural way of things.
And maybe that’s part of it. But honestly? I think I’m managing this transition without tears because I watched up close as families moved their grown children into residence halls on the college campus where I work. Then they just up and left them here for the semester.
I witnessed time marching on for those families, and it changed my perspective. Drastically.
My little guy may be in kindergarten now, but he’s coming home for dinner still. Now is the time to pay close attention to what’s right in front of me.
So, clear my schedule. It’s back to basics for me.
I refuse to let non-emergency situations get the best of me. (The distraction of a full inbox is not grounds for snapping at a spouse.)
I’m not worrying about the 2018 planner system that promises to get my disobedient ducks in a row. (Your beautiful spiral-bound notebook can increase my productivity? I’m not buying it.)
Or preoccupying myself with nailing down the perfect workout regimen. (Just keep moving.)
Or the next best meal-planning system. (Ha.)
I’m tuning in to the whispers of the Spirit and will use my worrying, my preoccupation and my “what’s next?” thoughts for discovering ways to delight my children. To be the wife my husband married. To serve friends and family and the people who spend their days with the hundreds of kids at our local elementary school. To spend my days the way I want to spend my life.
My second grader just entered the world of timed math tests. When her tears and frustration came charging to the surface, it was the perfect chance for me to put my new perspective into practice.
Instead of darting off to find an expert’s advice to help her, I went back to basics. Not Pinterest or Google or Siri. Not parenting books or blogs. Just my mind and the Spirit’s leading. The basics.
I knew she needed a tool for her spinning mind, like I so often do.
“The next time you feel overwhelmed, like you’re never going to make it, take a breath and remind yourself, We’ve got this.”
“Do you know who we is?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Who’s always with you when you need help?” I gently pressed.
“God,” she answered.
“Yes, that’s right. You and God. You’ve got this.”
Together, with Him, we’ve got this.
More interest in others.
More picturing the life I really want.
I’m done with complicating things. I’m ready to pay attention to what’s in front of me so I can take on the works prepared in advance for me. I don’t want to miss the chance to be His hands and feet right where I am. Because time will always march on and seasons will continue to change. But together, with the Spirit’s leading, we’ve got this.
While we have plenty of tomatoes around here, I like to grill up these sandwiches. There’s nothing like a juicy tomato with mozzarella and basil. What’s more basic than that, right?
- (Per sandwich)
- 2 slices of bread (French bread or sourdough work well!)
- 1-2 Tbs butter
- 2-3 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 2 slices mozzarella cheese (about 1/4 inch thick)
- Warm frying pan over medium heat.
- Butter one side of both slices of bread.
- Place one slice of bread (butter side down) on grill.
- Place the cheese on top and allow it to begin to melt.
- Sprinkle basil on top of cheese, then place the tomatoes on top of the cheese followed by the top piece of bread (butter side up).
- Flip the sandwich to toast the other slice of bread.
- When it's nice and toasty, enjoy!