the path i jog along takes me right in front of our local elementary, middle & high schools. my girls have grown up in this community & attended these public schools for years. monday was the first day of school. caroline is a sophomore in high school. emily starts rush for AXO at UGA with her classes beginning later this week. madison will graduating from college soon. and we’re 10 days away from savannah’s wedding.
i’ve been a runner (although currently i feel more like a slow-jogger than an actual runner) for as long as i can remember. and truth be told, i love running in the heat. there’s something purifying and tangible about the effort involved in the run, especially when the heat index is close to 100. there are word pictures and scriptures about running, about the race, about endurance, about finishing well, about passing the baton. i’ve always connected with these.
yesterday as i passed by the high school & prayed for caroline i came up the hill to the elementary school. i thought about all the mamas dropping off little bity kindergarteners for their first day. i thought about the ones that surely clung tightly to mama’s hand all the way down what seemed like a mile-long hallway. i thought about the little ones who were so excited, who loved the adventure & were tickled to do it all by themselves. ( one of mine used to say “no, i do it” as she tried to do things on her own!) i thought about the mamas that would drive home teary. the mamas that would go meet friends for their first kid-free hour since may. the mamas that would drive their reasonably “still full” minivan back home to take care of the rest of the littles.
i’ve been there. i’ve been in all those places & i’ve raised all those kiddos too. i had one a little shy & nervous about her first day in a new place. i had one we called intrepid because her bravery always has inspired us. and i’ve raised one who came out of the womb independent and seemingly effortlessly takes on the world.
i thought about all us mamas yesterday from the ones driving their first carpool to the ones who’ve planned weddings for their first borns. we’re strong. it’s what we’ve trained for all along…we just didn’t realize it..we were so busy training our littles that while we were cheering them on, we too were becoming strong. i think about esther & such a time as this. i think about our kiddos starting new chapters in their lives & walking into their calling with passion. i think about what an awesome privilege it is to cheer them on. i think about the kindergarten mama & it’s as if she’s with them in the starting blocks, perhaps standing in front of them saying things like you can do it & you’re gonna be awesome. i think about the mama of the college freshmen cheering nervously from the stands ( insert aly reisman’s parents watching their olympian !! too funny!) as she watches her child run her race. and then i can’t help but think of those of us who are passing the baton at the end of an aisle to the one we’ve prayed for, essentially for her whole life. from the starting blocks & forward, we can do the hard things. we can do the hard things!
it takes someone strong to make someone strong. thanks p&g for yet another shout out to the mama’s who’ve raised champions!
(the She looks to the future print is available here)