Friday, August 22, 2008

Let me just tell you...

I'm still crying! Who knew that pregnancy and postpartum emotions were the same as kindergarten emotions? Cloe is loving school, but I'm not so much. I feel like my heart is just being hammered on when she steps on that bus.
The first day, Cody stayed with us and helped get her on the bus. Our sweet neighbors brought us out "Monkey Muffins" and their little boy gave Cloe a big hug. They are so nice! I had tried and tried to get Cloe to eat some breakfast, but she was just too excited...until cute little Ben brought her a muffin which she gobbled down! Once she was on the bus, the boys and I jumped in the car and sat weeping across the street from her school to watch her safely get off the bus. (We were sitting in the parking lot of a Mental Home--I'm sure they wondered if they needed to check me in...)
When Cloe got on the bus, I seriously felt like my heart was breaking...what was I doing sending her on a bus with a slightly creepy mustache, suave looking man wearing a neon yellow vest? (The vest really threw me for a loop--bus driver uniforms?) What was I doing sending her to a school to be taught seven hours a day by someone who doesn't love my Savior? What was I doing subjecting her to mean little snotty girls?
Then God to mind so many passages of Scripture...HE is with me (or Cloe) wherever we go, HE is my rock and strength and my salvation--whom shall I fear? We had prayed about this decision. It would have been easy through the tears to change my mind and homeschool her--but we had prayed about this. Sending Cloe to Brookview provides a direct outlet to the community that we have yet to find since moving to West Des Moines. Instantaneously we are meeting a lot of people--people who are lost and need a Savior.
I taught a Bible Study lesson this Wednesday on God's purpose for trials in our lives. Is sending Cloe to kindergarten a real trial? Probably not--but it's an affliction that I must go through. WHY do we go through trials? They bring us closer to our Savior. They strengthen our faith They purify our affections. They reveal where my true hope is found. They make us long for eternity with our Savior.
One of the coolest things that has confirmed to me the need for Cloe to stay at Brookview (amidst my tears) is a family that has a son in Cloe's class. We met this mom four years ago at a park and since then our paths have crossed a freakish number of times. We have had opportunities to invite them to church, and they visited once several years ago. It seems curious that we didn't even know their son was staying back a year for kindergarten and now has ended up in Cloe's class. Does God have a plan? YEP! Will I work through these tearful emotions? In time... Am I loving on all of my kids and praying for them more than ever? YEP! Time is fleeting--I don't want to miss a thing and I don't want to have regrets.
Here are a few of the first school memories we've made this week:

We picked up this star at the Open House and had to decorate it and send it back to the school on the first day. Cloe was pretty pleased with all the sparkles! She did a great job with the sequins, ribbon and glitter!

Here's the traditional first day on the front step picture!
(I have one of these from every year growing up!)

Waiting for the bus...notice this side of her apple tag has my phone number on it...just in case somehow she gets lost!

Daddy and Cloe--it was Cody's birthday, too.

Bravely hopping on the bus! (my tears started flowing here...)

Getting home from the first day. She got to wear her gym shoes home because it was short day. (See the creepy driver in the background...)

***By the way, I seriously believe that God uses His Word and circumstances in my life to bring encouragement. While I was writing this post, I got a phone call from a Survey Company wondering if they could send me a months' worth of diapers to try for free on the boys and then fill out a short customer survey on. Sure!