Change / by Kate Brightbill

I'm a bit out of sorts. 

It's nearly the end of the summer and I had a meltdown late last week about all of the to-do's on my list left undone. I scrambled to paint the girls' room this weekend with Brian, in a great effort to appease my own critique of my summertime under-achievements. I've been cleaning my heart out to recover from our vacation and my painting efforts. 

I'm fumbling a bit these days. I've been calm, cool, collected and comfortable for awhile, so it's about time that I go a bit out of my comfort zone, yes? I've had my children, learned the ropes of motherhood, and have been on coast for a bit. Now we're about to embark on a whole new era of motherhood- the era of pencils and papers and unfamiliar faces and teachers and friends... and I'm a bottle of self-doubt and nerves. Somehow having a clean home and having the girls' room a fresh white rather than the terrible green we inherited seemed the potion to settle me back into confidence about the pending newness, but it hasn't. 

In truth, when I sit to consider all things, I am confident in my five-year-old. I know she loves people, she is sweet, she is social, she is smart, she is capable. She will thrive in a classroom, being taught by a teacher with the patience I lack, gaining skills and knowledge I wouldn't even remember to share with her. It's time and we all know it. 

I just thought it'd be easier to watch my girls grow up. I thought, hey, I'm not a crazy emotional person. I don't get easily rattled by circumstances. I definitely won't get teary when they go to school. Now we're nearly there, and I'm eating my words. This morning, I was sitting doing research on great lunch boxes and I was struck with a moment where my throat constricted and I swallowed so hard and my eyes were watering. I was alone but embarrassed at my silliness. It's school, for crying out loud! My girls are growing up and it's a beautiful thing!

It's just that- as I've said here a million times- I treasure the lovely preschool stages. The sweet kisses on my cheeks from adoring little girls, and the hands that want to hold mine and the feet that want mine to follow. I know this stage. I love this stage.

I don't know the next. I don't know how the inseparable friendship between my girls will develop when one is gone so much of the day. I don't know very many of the other kids, and I don't know the teacher. I just know that it's not what I have now. And I like what we have now.

I do believe that change is good. Change and growth build character, and character is the formula for building beautiful people with resolved integrity. What sort of story would we have if we just spent our days in the safety and adoring care of our mamas? Our world view would be skewed and revolve directly around ourselves.

To learn from the good and learn from the bad and learn from growing up- and be proven to become a person of deep-rooted conviction, filled with love and compassion for others--- these are the elements for raising strong girls of character.  

So I must let them grow up. I must let them be their own little people, encountering and rising to challenges that come their way. I will savor every bit of our last three weeks beforehand, and perhaps discard my lengthy to-do list entirely, in favor of more quality moments in the sunshine. 

And hopefully I will be able to order #2 pencils and a thermos without any tears. ;)


"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself..." Matthew 6:34a