Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Day of School Fears (Mom's That Is!)

Here's a back-to-school repost for some mom out there in need of assurance as her child heads off to school. (Doesn't matter whether it's to kindergarten or college--we cry and worry nonetheless!)  My daughter is long out of school but I always think back to that first day when I see the crossing guards at their posts.

Our daughter, the only girl of five kids, was a Velcro child. For years she stuck so close to me we moved as a unit.I decided she needed to go to pre-school a few mornings a week to introduce her to the world beyond my pant legs.

Like a hound on a fox hunt, I searched out every kiddie program for miles around. I sat in on show-and-tell circles, surveyed classrooms for any potential dangers in the five-year-old world, and questioned teachers about their lesson plans. Finally I found the perfect program, made especially so because of the teacher.

Although the program was held in a church which we were not members of, and the classes were rapidly filling, the director assured me my daughter would be placed in that particular teacher's class.

First school day arrived. My little one donned her backpack and I donned my brave face. Before we got out of the car, I rolled up her sleeve and planted a rosy lipstick kiss on her arm.

"If you get scared, just peek under your sleeve and know I love you," I said.

As we approached the classroom, the director intercepted us and pointed to another room, which she said was my daughter's.

"Oh, no," I protested. "I was told we would have this teacher. She's the reason we are here."

Unmoved, the director said Mrs. First Choice Teacher's room was full, but that Mrs. Unknown was also a wonderful teacher. I could feel the panic bubbling up, but not wanting to get testy in front of nervous little children, I handed my daughter over to Mrs. Unknown Teacher, blew  a kiss, then raced to my car where I promptly burst into tears.

I fretted all morning. "Lord, I spent weeks looking for the perfect situation and now, at the last minute it changes! How could you let that happen to us?"

Finally in between my complaints, I realized the story of Joseph had been playing in the background of my mind. I paused to pay attention. Peace settled over me as the reminder that in spite of all the unfair, downright bad things that happened to Joseph, things he had no control over, God had his back. What was intended for evil, God intended for good.

When I met my daughter at her classroom door, I expected to find her either in tears or on the verge of them. Instead, a happy child laden with crayon drawings greeted me.

"How was it?" I asked.

"Good," she said. "I like my teacher. She has warm hands."

Warm hands. God knew my daughter needed warm hands far more than the most progressive way to learn ABC.

Blessings, parents of off-to-schoolers. Remember He loves your little (and big) ones more than you do!



  1. Marcia:

    This piece is filled with solid support and encouragement for parents involved in this tender moment.

    What an excellent Mother you were, and are.



  2. Such a sweet,comforting post, Marcia.

    Hugs and blessings to you!

  3. Love it, Marcia. We had a last minute teacher switch in our early elementary years, and she ended up being a favorite. And the teacher who inspired Sarah to want to teach first grade. Our Heavenly Father always knows best!

  4. Oh, I remember those days, Marcia. Bittersweet indeed. :)

    I may need to buy a tube of rosy lipstick so I can plant one of those "assurances" on Piper's arm at some point!

    Thanks for sharing this special memory with us.


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