“Back to School Drama for this Momma”
by Rhonda Stoppe
I have had so much fun looking at all the wonderful back-to-school pictures on social media. With new backpacks, tennis shoes, and wearing their favorite outfits, thousands of little-ones marched out of their momma’s arms and onto their campuses.
I get a little misty when I remember all of the emotions involved in the back-to-school days at our house. One memory in particular was when my son, Brandon, was to start kindergarten.
We had spent the entire summer preparing Brandon–my quiet one–for this life changing event called kindergarten. His older sister did her best to encourage Brandon, as she shared stories with him about recess fun, and lunch with friends.
When the day finally came for Brandon to kiss me goodbye and walk into his classroom, I was completely surprised by…
I watched the clock all day to be sure I was on time, even early, to pick up my little man. To my relief, when Brandon got in the car, he was full of great stories of how much he enjoyed kindergarten. I thought to myself, Wow, this is way easier than I expected it to be!
During the evening meal, Brandon told his dad how happy he was that he went to kindergarten, because he really enjoyed it. Phew, we thought to ourselves…
The next morning, when I woke Brandon for school, I said, “Time to get up buddy. It’s time to go to kindergarten.”
To which Brandon replied, “No momma, I already went yesterday. Remember?” In that moment I realized something terrible! I had failed to prepare Brandon for the reality that he would have to go to kindergarten every day!
Somehow Brandon had mistakenly believed that going to kindergarten was a one time event. Something he had to courageously do, and he could now check it off his “bucket list”.
When I carefully explained to Brandon he would be going to school every day–like his big sister–the look of horror that came over his face broke my heart. And when I answered “yes” to his question, “Does Dad know about this?” Brandon knew he had no one to rescue him from this absurd daily ritual he would now be expected to perform.
I’ll spare you the details, except to say my friend, Bridget, had to peel Brandon’s arms from around my neck every day for a week. And before you go and think his school experience must have been terrible, I need to point out that we lived in a very remote location where all of the children attended one of the last one-room-schoolhouses in the nation.
Brandon and his friend, Nick, were the only two kindergarteners, and they had a precious teacher named Heidi all to themselves. And what’s more Brandon’s older sister, Meredith, attended the same school, and was never more than 30 feet from Brandon at any given time.
Each morning we prayed together in the car, before dropping off at school. A habit I began when my kids were young that continued even on the day we said goodbye at college.
The Bible says, The effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much (James 5:16). And I never prayed more diligently for my kids than when they were at school, away from me.
Moms, never underestimate the power of your prayers. Pray for your kids, for their friends, and for their teachers all throughout the day. You may be the only person praying for them.
1 Samuel 12:23 says, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you.”
Is it back-to-school time at your house? What dramas have you encountered? I’d love to hear.