Long-Awaited Moments Vs. the Unexpected

Some things you wait a long time for, and you have years and years to mentally prepare for them to happen. Other things happen in an instant, with no warning, and you have to act in the moment on instinct. I recently had both of these experiences within two days of each other. 

THURSDAY – AUGUST 19TH

My son started Kindergarten on a Thursday. 5 years ago when he was born, I knew that one day I would be dropping him off for his first day of school. But it seemed so far away. (And it was!) But as he turned 2, and then 3, it started hitting me that it was coming faster than I thought it would. When people asked me where he was going to go to school, I always just kind of shrugged my shoulders and said he’d probably go to the public school nearest us. I wasn’t really ready to wrap my mind around it yet.

Once he was 4, I admitted I really needed to begin thinking about it seriously. Did I want him to go to public school or private school? I work for a private Christian university, and they also have a K-12 private school that I could get a large discount at if I sent him there. 

My husband and I both went to public schools, so it seemed like a logical decision to have Calvin go to public school as well. And the public school near us was said to be one of the best elementary schools in Abilene. I hadn’t heard anything negative about it (except for the drop-off and pick-up lines!) 

I weighed the pros and cons of public vs. private school. I thought about class size, curriculum, teachers, demographics, and location. Ultimately, we decided that public school was going to be the right choice for our son and our family. 

My son has a summer birthday (late June), so people also began asking me if I planned to hold him back a year before sending him on to Kindergarten. I didn’t see a reason to do it unless his Pre-K teachers felt like he was really struggling or that he seemed to lack certain skills needed for Kindergarten. Since they didn’t, we were ready to send him on. Would he be one of the youngest in his class? Yes – but that is okay. I knew moving Calvin forward would be the best thing for him. He was ready to learn and go to school. 

Thursday morning arrived: the first day of school. A moment that had seemed so far off when my son was born, and yet here we were. I had played out this scenario many times in my head. Would Calvin cry? (He did not.) Would I? (Yes indeed.) Would he like his teacher? Would he make friends in his new class? 

The transition to Kindergarten felt like a big milestone. Before having a child of my own, I had always kind of rolled my eyes at things like preschool or Kindergarten graduation ceremonies. I didn’t understand why “every grade” (an exaggeration on my part) needed to have their own celebration or festivities. Well, the reason is (I have now learned) because they are actually a big deal. When Calvin dressed up in his graduation cap and outfit for Pre-K, and his class put on a little program of songs for all the parents, I got emotional. And I was so proud of him. 

Going to Kindergarten is a big deal. And the moment I knew was coming one day, had finally arrived.

SATURDAY – AUGUST 21ST

Two days later, something happened to me that I could never have imagined would even be possible. I guess if I had thought about it, I could have determined that it would technically be possible, like by the laws of physics, but the chances of it actually happening had to be miniscule. 

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Cut Me in the School Pick Up Line

Dear person who cut in front of me in the after-school pick up line today,

What a sad day indeed to have witnessed such a calamity on this 25th day of August! I couldn’t believe my eyes when your red sedan swooped into the (very small) opening between myself and the silver van in front of me as we were inching closer to the school entrance. I honked, but you didn’t seem to notice. Perhaps I should have honked louder or more numerously than I did. Perhaps I should have gotten out and knocked on your window to let you know that you had committed a serious faux pas.

Have you ever been in a line before, dear red sedan driver? If you haven’t, I will gladly tell you how it works: first, you must take note of the end of the line (in this case, the last car in the pick up line) and then place yourself behind the last vehicle, thus yourself becoming now the last vehicle in line. Then you wait. (And wait and wait and wait some more.) As you are waiting, more cars will likely line up behind you (as is the proper way for a line to form), and then as the line moves, you will move up slowly to the front to pick up your elementary school student waiting for you.

The elementary student you picked up today has had lots of practice being in line – they were lined up waiting very nicely at the orange cone for you to arrive and pick them up. Perhaps you could ask this student how to properly wait in a line?

I admit, I did snap a picture of your car… and your license plate… as we ended up side by side in the two-laned pickup area. You didn’t seem to notice me, but seemed very focused on your steering wheel. I applaud your desire for vehicle safety (I can only assume that’s why you wouldn’t risk a glance at me.)

I also confess, that I had many ideas initially of what I could do with these pictures I obtained of your car. Post them to social media, maybe to the school district’s Facebook page? Make flyers and tape them up all over the elementary school? Make a “WANTED” sign in an old western style (that could be kind of fun!) Turn it into a meme?

It would, however, do me no good to provide you the justice you deserve, because then I would find myself becoming the type of person I don’t want to be. The fact that I entertained such vengeful ideas of reciprocation against you (as outlined in the prior paragraph) shows how easy it is to find oneself considering all sorts of evil against another person. How quickly we (I speak in terms of humankind) like to make enemies of one another!

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I’m Still Here

It’s a Tuesday, August 17th.

I don’t have anything novel or revolutionary to say. I’ve been in somewhat of a low place the last few weeks. But I just wanted to post something to say that I’m still here (it’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve been active on here.)

I just reorganized and sorted through my sock and underwear drawer. It is therapeutic for me to organize and get rid of things. Clutter is one of my kryptonites (not sure if that’s the proper plural of kryptonite?)

I know I’m stressed because I’ve been wanting to clean and organize, and reorganize, and sort, and declutter… and it never seems to be enough.

I’m anxious about my son starting Kindergarten (in 2 days!) I’m anxious about the Delta variant, and about the fact that schools around here seem to be doing nothing as a precaution.

I’m frustrated about things that never seem to change despite me working really hard to change them. The other day I hit a point where I questioned why I’m even putting in the effort. It it’s not going to make a difference, I could at least save my energy for other things.

I’ll give you an example. Sometimes (well, if I’m honest, many times) I hate how I look. I put in a lot of effort to style my hair, do my makeup, choose what clothes I wear… and then I see myself in a picture and I think that it was all for nothing. I might as well just roll out of bed, throw on any old clothes and walk out the door – either way, I won’t like how I look. (I know this is a defeatist attitude, but here we are.)

A second example: sometimes I wonder why I pray about things if they don’t seem to be changing. Why does it feel like God isn’t listening? When is it appropriate to give up and move on? I woke up early this morning to pray when that thought popped into my head. And then I thought about Joseph, and about how he spent years in terrible situations like slavery and prison, but that in the end, it had a purpose. If he could have seen the future, he could have seen that all of it was leading up to something bigger than him, all he had to do was endure it. (Feel free to read more about Joseph in the latter half of Genesis, I know I did not do the story justice here.)

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