My daughter recently started preschool. To say it’s been traumatic for me would be a bit of an understatement. The night before her first day, I sat in the kitchen holding her book bag and crying. My friends, who’d been through this, all assured me it was normal to have so many emotions about it. But I’m not sure it was normal to wander around her preschool building aimlessly for almost an hour after I dropped her off for the first time….? Three times someone stopped and asked if I needed help and I told them I was fine… “except my baby has just been thrust into a pack of strangers and has always been home with me and thinks the whole world is nice and everyone is her best friend and has no idea that anyone could ever not want to hear her sing her princess songs repeatedly and clap at the end everytime!” Usually they slowly backed away after that, but one lady did pat me on the shoulder. I could tell she got it.
To my son’s relief, I eventually made myself walk out the door. He’d been strapped in the baby bjorn for the morning’s excursion and was probably growing tired of hearing Mom talk to herself (“You CAN do this Jada. It’s only 3 hours…”) and take such deep breaths that he was being heaved up and down repeatedly (that was to give myself the strength to go through the EXIT).
I prayed in the car, wondering if I’d done enough to prepare her. I wasn’t thinking about her ABC’s or her shapes or colors. I knew she would use her manners and raise her hand if she had a question. I knew it was only nursery school, that in the grand scheme of things this was a pretty safe place for her to be. And I had faith in my daughter, in the person I was just beginning to see emerge from her baby years. She was kind, and thoughtful, with a fun way of seeing the world and a loving heart.
” But God,” I prayed. “I’m still so afraid.”
I went on to list all my fears to Him. I told him how I’ve always been there to protect her from everything and felt helpless leaving her in someone elses’ hands. He reminded me that she was always in His hands first and foremost. That it was my trust in Him, not her protection, that was lacking.
I reminded him of what a sensitive kid I had been, always wanting people to like me, and even at a young age, feeling deeply hurt when someone rejected me. What if she’s like me Lord? Please don’t let her be like me…I begged. He reminded me that he placed sensitivity in my heart so I would care about other people at a young age. That it has served Him in more ways than it has hurt me and would do the same for my daughter.
I told him that I loved her so much and just couldnt stand the thought of someone hurting her or making her feel like she wasn’t worthy. He reminded me that her worth had already been established. And that He understood what it was like to love your children.
All my questions answered, I sighed deeply, “Alright Lord, you’ve made your point. She’s yours. I will give it over to You now. Please help me to trust in you along this new journey…..I guess that means I should leave the parking lot now huh?”
I could almost see him giving me that look my Dad always gave me when I tried to pretend I hadn’t heard him tell me to bring home the parent teacher conference forms. I put the car into drive.
At home, I busied myself with chores and feeding the baby and before I knew it, it was time to go rescue, I mean pick up, my little Preschooler! I skipped inside excitedly, eager to watch her in action class was dismissed. The front desk attendants lowered their eyes when I came in, the way you do when you’re afraid the crazy person will talk to you. I breezed past them and rounded the corner only to be stopped in my tracks by… THE PRESCHOOL PICK UP LINE.
“Okay Mom, you can goooooo now..”
For those of you who don’t know, which I didn’t, it’s pretty hardcore. All the Mom’s were lined up, single file, outside the door. No one was peeking in or chit chatting, only waiting. Some were dressed to the nines, hair done, makeup applied beautifully. Some were, like me, wearing yoga pants and balancing other children on their hips. There was even one Mom with a neck tattoo. “Ohhhhh I want to be friends with her!” I immediately thought.
“Hmm.. I bet they’re all just as overwhelmed by this experience as I am. Maybe I should break the ice.”
Except I did that thing I do when I’m nervous, which is talk really loudly and really fast, and I broke the ice like this:
“ISN’T THIS JUST THE CRAZIEST, HARDEST THING EVER?!!!!!”
I got a few nods, a few smiles, and an exhausted looking Dad who declared this to be the “best day of his life.” I guess they may have had a little bit better lock on their emotions than I did. I decided I’d win them over later with some yummy store bought cookies that I’d pretend were homemade, and turned my attention to the classroom. The door was opening!
Out came the kiddos, one by one, looking excited and a little confused as to why there was a group of parent paparrazi snapping pictures of them as they walked outside the door. I took note of all the little faces, hands clasped around their brand new bookbags, excited to see their Mommas and proud that they had finished their first day at this fun, new place. Toward the end of the line, out walked my Girl. Maybe it was just me, but I thought she looked a little older.
On the ride home she told me all about her morning. She had made a new friend and thought the teachers were so nice. They’d sang songs and had a snack. She’d felt nervous a few times but then she remembered that Mommy would be back at the end of school to pick her up. She thought she’d like to go back next time.
Listening to her I realized that she’d figured out pretty quickly what I’d been struggling with all morning. That sometimes we have to leave the world we’re used to and step out into something new and different. That it might be scary sometimes, but at the end of the day there will always be One we can trust, waiting to pick us up and take us Home again.
About the Author: Hi! My name is Jada Pryor. I am a Wife to my best friend Joe, and Momma to my sweet babies Jubilee and Lazarus. I fell in love with Jesus at the age of 21, and finally found what I was looking for to fill the ache inside of me. He has transformed my life and continues to change me everyday that I trust him to do so. I started a blog so I could find out if other women felt the same way I do: That life can be tough, but sure is easier when we all stick together. My dream is to point others to Jesus through my words, and to let anyone who reads what I write to know that they are loved beyond reason and are stronger than they believe. Please check it out at : http://anapandaprayer.com/ Thanks so much:)