Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School, So Soon?

Newly hatched sea turtles make their way to the sea in Costa Rica.

This post has been edited from a post I did last year, when my youngest child started kindergarten. I sympathize with those of you with babies going to school for the first time. I really struggled last year, but I am finding my way and figuring out my new normal...and my identity again! God is good and always has exciting things in store! It does get better...

We parked behind the school and walked across the bus parking lot. It was almost time for the bell to ring, so I told the children to run ahead. I was, of course, carrying three large bags of wide-ruled paper, copy paper, pens, pencils, markers and crayons; enough for twenty kids, it seemed. The humidity was low, and it was cool for this unusual August morning. August is usually the worst month of the year in South Carolina with its dreadful heat and steam coming off of the pavement as soon as the sun rises. The early morning sun was beaming down on the bus parking lot, just barely above the school house.
I could see my children running with their carapaced armor of backpacks trying to make their little refuge of seats before the bell rang. And in a moment, as they ran toward the sun, they reminded me of the little loggerhead sea turtles racing toward the light of the full moon to the big, big ocean; to a place that could swallow them up in an instant. My eyes fill and almost spill over as I think about those little turtles; my children going off into the big world to fend for themselves.

Then, one of them stops. I see her shoulders drop. I can't see her head because of the bright sun. Unable to run with all the supplies, it takes me several minutes to catch up. She is crying. My baby is crying. She says, "Mama, I don't want to leave you." I know I can't let her see the flood that is about to poor out of my head, so I try to remind her that we live right behind the school; that unlike those little turtles, she can always come home to her safe little nest. I shift all the supplies that now feel like enough for a hundred kids, to one side and take her little hand.

I wonder how the little logger turtles, no bigger than a pebble, make it to the water's edge and past the big waves without their Mama. I wonder how Mama Logger lets them. They are so little.  She is so little.  I just want to drop those bags of supplies, take her in my arms and run; run away from the huge waves that will engulf her; away from the world that wants to devour her.  I know we are probably going to be late, but I don't care.

I walk slowly and remember how just a few months ago and for the past several years, she and I would walk the older children to school and she would turn the corner of the building and say, "Come on, Mommy! Let's go play tea party!" Our most favorite thing to do.

Today, I packed a small little tea cup in her lunch box with her juice. It is the first day of kindergarten. The school has asked that we not join the kids for lunch today, so that they can establish a routine.

I picture Mama Logger swimming just past the break of the waves looking for her babies to hatch and find their way to her; all one hundred of them. I remember the little three sea turtles that we were fortunate to see hatch and make their way to the ocean's edge.  I pray they made it through the waves. I pray my three make it through their first day of school. I pray they learn and grow and...

come home to Mama.

Tomorrow, I will pack my little tea cup and join my baby for lunch.
This summer we were able to see approximately fifty-five sea turtles hatch on the North Carolina shore and make their way to the ocean.  Only about one in one thousand survive to adulthood.
Brooke Owen, Ashlyn and Mason 2012

Blessings to you and your family for the 2012 school year!

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~John Dewey
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Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

I always enjoy your posts! I know that you know this already, but savor every moment with your kids now!! Both of my children graduated from college in May and it was hard letting them go every year! In a couple of weeks I will be helping one move to DC (from SC) and the other is still waiting job placement. It is still hard to let them go!

Sarah said...

Christi, this is the sweetest post. They grow up so quickly. Enjoy each of these special moments. You analogy to the sea turtles is very poignant.
All the best for a great year.

Anonymous said...

Christie: I am new to your blog but just know God led me here...you are such an inspiration! I only wished I had the relationship with Christ when my children were younger as I do now...thanking Him daily that He can restore what the locusts have eaten! Looking forward to hearing more from you...you are quite a writer...God has certainly gifted you with "meaningful words." Thank you for sharing your heart. --Marti

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