My dear Son,
Today you are “spreading your wings” and, for the first time, taking a peek out of the safe nest that has been your home for your 3 years of life so far. It may be a little step toward independence, but it’s a big deal.
You will be “introduced to the world,” learning in leaps and bounds, making friends, but also exposed to influences, experiences, and worldviews that I wish I could shield you from. I won’t be there to comfort you if you fall and scrape your knee, and your teacher might do things a bit differently than you’re used to at home. But the world is also being exposed to YOU. Your Papa and I have spent 3 years raising you, teaching you, helping you, disciplining you, and encouraging you, and now you are taking a step outside of the sphere of our own private little family life and circle of friends. I am nervously excited to see how you will respond to authority, how you will interact with the other kids, and what will happen if something doesn’t go your way. Your Kindergarten class is being exposed to your gifts and your personality – your inquisitive nature, your eagerness to “work”, your gentle and helpful ways, and your willingness to be silly 🙂
The world is also being exposed to Jesus IN you. On the short drive to the Kindergarten I felt compelled to tell you all my last tidbits of motherly wisdom before releasing you. “You know, Jesus is going with you to the Kindergarten, right Caleb? If you are ever afraid, you can always pray to Him. Or if you are having fun and just want to tell Him thank you, you can do that too.” And then from the back seat I heard your confident little voice reply, “Or if we just want to talk to each other, we can do that too.” My heart burst with joy – you get it!
Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California, always says that “There is no Jr. Holy Spirit.” The same powerful, loving God in whose Name you send “giants” out of your room when you are scared is the One whose Spirit is in you, equipping you to bring His light and love to those you will meet and influence during the next 3 years of Kindergarten.
Another man by the name of Hodding Carter once said
“There are two lasting gifts we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.”
Your roots will continue to grow down deeper, since your time at home is (thankfully!) not over yet. You are only 3, and there is still lots for you to learn about love, about the world, about relationships and about God. It’s not like you’re going off to college (phew!); this is just a transition, and one that affects all of us.
Your little sister is going to miss having you around in the mornings as a playmate. The house is going to seem extra quiet to Oma and Opa living downstairs without the “tap-tap” sound of your little feet running across the floor. And our lazy drawn-out mornings together will be turning into post-nap cuddles and after-school baking as you tell me about your day.
But, my boy, this is a natural next step for all of us. You are excited to ride the bus, to pack snacks, jump in the ball pit, and make new friends. And I am excited to watch you continually mature and develop, bringing as much joy to your teachers and playmates as you constantly have in our home the past 3 years.
I love you, I’m praying for you, and chocolate chip cookies are waiting for you when you get home.