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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Keep Your Eyes Open

So we made it through the first day of school on Monday. I looked through all the Facebook posts of excited, wide-eyed little ones and annoyed, sleepy-eyed bigger ones.  I didn't get all emotional and nuts like I usually do.  I didn't focus on the fact that my youngest was beginning his very last year at the elementary school where I have had a least one kid attend for the last eleven years.  I didn't register the fact that my middle son, who told me after his first full day of first grade that "it was just too long to be away from you, Mommy" was starting his first full day of high school.  And I really, really ignored the fact that the oldest one would likely only walk out my door one more time on the first day of school.  I also didn't throw a party or call a girlfriend for lunch or sit around and watch old episodes of Friday Night Lights like I thought I might. 

Honestly, had you said, "How'd that first day of school go?"  I would have been pretty much like this:

Listen, I was adulting like nobody's business.  About 72 loads of laundry got done.  I ironed a basket of clothes that had been sitting there for about three weeks.  All the grocery shopping happened. All the clean up got completed.  All the forms were signed.  Dinner was made right in time for those who could eat together and I even had it all laid out on plates and put in the fridge waiting those who wouldn't be able to eat until later. 
I KNOW!  Please hold your applause.  Because . . .
I also made a cake.  I repeat.  I MADE A CAKE. 
You may commence applause.
Then the 2nd day of school came and I read THIS.
Finally, I cleaned up my face because I had to go to Office Depot for the third time in two days to buy three more binders, three more packages of 5 tab dividers and a 24 pack of multicolor pens so I could pull out the one red pen since Office Depot is obviously involved in a conspiracy with the pen-making people. 
Due to my frustration with the conspiracy and the fact that some moron decided that college was a good idea for my babies, I started to cry again.  In the pen aisle.  I shut my eyes and blocked out the idea that this is likely going to happen to me.  This dropping off at college business.  It might happen THREE times.  Oh, the pain.  Oh, the fear.  Oh, the melting down right next to the Pilot Ballpoint Pens/Medium Point/Advanced Ink/Incredibly Smooth (Lord, have mercy.)
I made my way to sit in my car, still squeezing my eyes shut to keep the tears back and listened to a song from NeedtoBreathe called Keep Your Eyes Open.  My bestie's daughter went to college a few weeks ago.  A few days before she left we all went to see NeedtoBreathe and when they played this song, I tried really hard not to cry and to be a solid rock of support for my friend.  FAIL.
If you could soldier on
Headstrong into the storm
I'll be here waiting on the other side
Don't look back
The road is long
The first days of the war are gone
Take back your former throne and turn the tide
'Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You'll never make it to the great unknown till you
Keep your eyes open, my love
So tell me you're strong, tell me you see
I need to hear it, can you promise me to
Keep your eyes open, my love
So show me your fire, show me your heart
You know I'll never let you fall apart if you
Keep your eyes open, my love
This is the thing, friends.  We can't shut our eyes to the future God has planned for our kids no matter how scared and full of pain and anxiety we are.  The other day I heard some guy on the radio say this and gosh, I wish I heard his name because THIS IS IT, mommas.
"The safest place for your children to be is in the center of God's will."
They are supposed to do this.  God has a will for our kids and it might not be ours.  I have found that time and time again.  My will is not God's.  His is always, always better.  They are supposed to go. And let's put our humility aside for just a moment and remember something. 
YOUR kid?  YOUR kid is going to do something unbelievable if you let him do it.  YOUR kid going to kindergarten?  She might learn how to read this year.  YOUR kid getting to take that elective in high school?  He might find what makes him happy and passionate and motivated.  YOUR kid going to middle school?  She might make that shy girl feel like this new school might not be so lonely. YOUR kid in college all alone?  Well, he is going to find out exactly who this God is that you've been telling him about for 18 years. He is going to find out that he is not alone at all. YOUR kid and MY kid?  They might just do some mighty works for the Lord.  Yes, yes they will.  They might change the whole world for one person or maybe even for lots of people. 
We gotta open our eyes, y'all.  If we don't, we can't see the plans He has for them.  For us.  The plans, the kids, you and me?  We are all His.  Let's watch and see what He has planned, 'kay? Let's keep our eyes open.
 *Those eyes?  Those are the eyes of my best friend and my best friend's girl.  Beautiful eyes.  Beautiful, wide open eyes. :-)

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