I prayed over them both. I rubbed their backs. I nestled my fingers in their hair. I talked to them about the first day of school. I kissed their forehead. And before I left each bedroom I heard, “Mom, don't walk me into school tomorrow. It's a little embarrassing.”
I knew this day was coming. You're just never really ready.
Anna's first day of school clothes were displayed across her bed. Every single item new. Every single item very Anna Takle. She knows what she's doing. After all, she's the girl who stops me before I walk out the door with “You need a fashion check?” And, I'm the one who always bites the bullet and says yes.
John Henry, on the other hand, had older, a little more tattered clothes poured across his bed. I asked him why he wouldn't want to wear something newer. Something a bit nicer.
“Mom, you can't wear your best stuff the first day of school. You can't be the kid who starts off the school year with brand new clothes. I'll throw in some nice clothes randomly.”
And, somehow, I actually got it. He didn't want to look like he was trying so hard. I get it.
I also get them not wanting me to walk them in. Even if it's a BRAND NEW SCHOOL. Even if I went to bed and cried to Kris and made him relive with me every funny thing John Henry did from 10 months old to age 4.
Even if it's the last first day of John Henry's elementary school days.
I get it. As much as I love to relive Anna Takle as Super Girl. John Henry as a Buzz Lightyear. Anna yelling out “vuck” to her pre-school class for words that start with V. John Henry peeing on the dog, because, well, it's something to do. Anna telling me, “You're a monster!” John Henry touching home plate and running out to ask, “Did you see that, Mom?” The two of them together playing in mud puddles. Sliding downstairs on an air mattress. Laughing. Fighting. Forgiving. Loving.
As much as I love these years. I know it's better that they grow. That they need me less.
Because the less they see their need for me, the more they'll see their need for Him. And, while I will sometimes fail them, He never will.
So, grow. Become strong. Become conscious of Who is within you. Become aware that you already have everything you need to do all God's called you to do. Because, HE is with you. Beside you. In front of you. Behind you.
And, when you need me…..
I'll come running.