Internalizing My Little One’s Big Transition

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So we’ve made it to Friday of the first week of school.  Why am I emotionally and physically drained?  I’m supposed to feel rested and relieved, right?

I was counting down the days for school to begin again, but I have to say this first week took it out of me.  

With the new school year, we’re getting up earlier, negotiating a new carpool system, trying to remember the first grade rules and things to pack each day, and talking a lot about who/what/when/where/why with my daughter to gauge her feelings about school.  It’s funny, on paper, all of this sounds like no big deal at all.  And yet somehow, I am exhausted this week. 

Imagine how our children feel.  Big or small, they have a lot of “new” to deal with at the start of the school year.  Imagine the anxieties they might feel about friends, their abilities, the expectations…  And not just the littlest students, but the high school students have a large load of “new” to process this week as well.

Do you find yourself internalizing your child’s anxieties, apprehensions and “big kid” responsibilities at school? Apparently, I do this.  Although I pray to God daily and try to give Him all my cares and concerns for my children, I still manage to carry a fair amount of worry around with me.  I know my daughter is in His perfect hands at school, and He will carry her through her day.  He will help her navigate all that she is expected to do there, and so will her wonderful teachers.  And yet, I have thought about her every second this week, and worried about the challenges she faced throughout her day.  What if she can’t open her snack?  First graders are supposed to be able to do that.  What if she has to play by herself at recess?  What if, what if, what if…
My 6 year old daughter started a new school this year.  So in addition to the higher expectations of a first grader (compared to a Kindergartner), she has a new teacher, a new carpool routine, a new building to navigate, and new peers.  She’s very adaptable and brave, and hasn’t complained once about things being harder this week.  About anything at all, actually.  Still, I know my baby has had many an uncertain moments, and has possibly felt insecure about things at times.  Just thinking about that makes me want to go grab her and squeeze her and smother her with kisses!  She’s amazing.  She is also transitioning out of a special program she was in the last few years.  God has brought her through some developmental delays and she is in a regular classroom.  So exciting!  So again, there is a lot of “new” for my baby this year.  A lot.

Our kids are so resilient and capable and amazing, actually, and I know that my tendency is to handhold too much. Independent skills are very important, and she is capable of more than I realize.  Learning to walk to the first grade wing of the school in the morning – by herself – is a skill that helps her grow.

Here is a prayer that I speak over my daughter before school.  Not verbatim, but something along these lines.  Usually while we’re in the carpool lane, approaching her stop.  All day long, whenever worry comes, I try to immediately give her back to Him, and trust Him with all of my cares and concerns. 

Dear Lord,Thank you for helping L to have a great day.  Please fill her heart with your perfect peace and joy.  I pray that she would be a shining light in her classroom, and a blessing to her friends and teachers.  Please help her to pay attention and to learn a lot today.  I pray she would feel happy and confident and special today.  Thank you for protecting L all day, and placing your mighty Angels around this school.  Thank you for going to school with L and carrying her through her day.  I know you care about her even more than I do.  Thank you for your faithfulness, God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


August 29, 2014
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