Wednesday, January 18, 2017

School, Change and Identity

On Monday morning, everything changes.

The beginning of a new week always feels that way. It's funny, this kind of arbitrary system we all agreed on. that Monday is the start. The beginning. Something new, something fresh. Something different. Like we're slipping off the garment of everything that came before and stepping into the stark light of something unknown.

On Monday morning, everything changes.

For the first time ever, my kids are going to school. There are so many decisions and thoughts and feelings and questions that go along with that, but there it is. Truth be told, I don't really know how to talk about it yet. It's a cautious and delicate thing I'm sure will take me quite a while to unwrap for myself, much less others. All I know for today is that God is good and this feels right and I know they'll be fine. As for me, well...

Not unlike when I made the choice to greet Maggie in the hospital instead of at home, my wonderful friends rush in with reassurance. And, in the same way, I'm not sure it will help. Yes, I know teachers love children and the school is a wonderful place. Yes, I know my kids will be well looked after, will make friends, will love it there. Yes, I know, everything will be alright. Yes, yes.

And yet.

There's a sort of humility in opening ourselves up to change - yes, even right down to the things staked our identity on. Homeschooling was one of those things, for me. A part of me from my own first day as a homeschooled kid, through the 9 years I taught my own kids in my own home. I keep myself busy getting them ready but deep down there's a little whisper growing louder all the time, something insistent that demands to be heard. Something keening, muffled but there all the same. Something I'll have to deal with, sooner or later. A little bit of heartbreak.

I don't know what tomorrow brings. Or next Fall, or ten years from now. I don't know how a house feels without the big kids home, or really what we're going to do with ourselves. Maybe it's just a season, or maybe I'm taking one last look at what life was like once upon a time. I don't know.

I'm still learning, after all this time, that aligning my self worth and identity with man made labels and tags is a fools errand. Who I truly am isn't something that can be changed so easily. It follows me through all the twists and turns life takes and sticks close to me on the darkest of days. Eternally loved, emphatically chosen.

So, on Monday morning, I'll pack lunches and hug the people who I love more than anything on this planet and feel along the razor sharp edge of love and pain and growth and change. Believing that this could be the start of something beautiful, bursting through what was before.

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