Yesterday was our “first day” of school this year… (for those of us who homeschool. The “big” kids and the preschool kid already had theirs…)
We plan our outfits, get our backpacks all loaded up and ready to go, and make sure we have nice new shoes to wear… There is an excitement that wraps itself around freshly sharpened pencils and crisp new pages in a notebook….crayons that haven’t been dulled and markers whose lids haven’t been loosely replaced and mismatched. Everything feels fresh and new and bright. Untouched.
There is a lot of focus put on “first days,” and I think that’s for good reason. New beginnings are good, and we all need them, don’t we? It’s almost like a little “reset button” built into life… each year, you get to redefine yourself. If you want to.
It makes me wonder if who we are on the first day of school is real…if the way we start the school year is the way we will continue it… and end it. We focus so much on first days, first impressions, etc. What about last days? What about ending well? And what about all of the little “insignificant” days in between that blur together? You know, it is often those blurry middle days that are the ones that get remembered.
We don’t get to choose which days our kids will keep in their memories.
But chances are, it won’t be all “first days.” There will be a lot of moments in between that we will deem forgettable that they will store away in the recesses of their minds. We have no control over which ones make it into the vault. My advice to me, as a mom, is to make as many joyful moments and happy days as possible, to increase the odds of those memories being good ones. And when I blow it, which I often do, to keep short accounts and right my wrongs by living humbly and openly before my kids. [In my experience, if you ask them to forgive you, they have a pretty easy time forgetting whatever you did wrong.]
As our homeschool year begins, I know our days are FULL of opportunities for me to be the mean mom. Impatient mom. Stressed-out mom. Leave-me-alone-and-go-play-because-I-have-a-headache-mom.
I don’t want to be her.
I want who I was on our first day to be who I continue to be throughout the year. Excited mom. Enthusiastic mom. Creative and funny mom. It’s-ok-if-you-mess-up;-just-keep-trying-mom.
When our year comes to a close and I am left with just the memories, the papers I decided to keep, the pictures that made it off my phone and into a photo album,…
I don’t want to have regrets. I know I will have regrets. I don’t want the weight of them to consume me. I want to embrace each child each day and love them like Jesus loves them. I want to take time to look deeply into their sweet little eyes and tell them how adored they are. I want to pray over them day and night and affirm their calling and purpose in this world. I want each of them to feel like they are my favorite. Cuz they are. 🙂
One thing that helps me keep my focus is remembering that my days with them are numbered. Sometimes it can feel like this season of raising kids will never end. But it will. I want to make every day I’m given with them count, and I don’t want to be ashamed of the memories they have of me. One thing is sure: who I am and how I love them counts, and the way I interact with them now will determine the Mama they’ll remember. I’ve decided to make sure she’s the best version of me possible. How about you?