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Be kind to a mom this week

August 24, 2010 - Betsy Bethel

So, it's the day before Emma's first day at her new, five-day-a-week preschool (they call it "junior kindergarten"). Today's her last day at the daycare/preschool where she has spent two days a week for two and a half years.

Here's what's going through my mind.

Really? I mean, how can she be old enough for this already?

Will we get up on time? Will it be miserable every morning trying to get out the door?

Will she like her teachers? Will I like her teachers?

Will I like her new friends? Will I have anything in common with their moms?

Did I make the right choice? Will it be too much for her to handle?

Oh shoot, I should have made time to get her bangs cut. She's scraggly-looking!

Thank God we finally — last night — found size 12 1/2 sneakers in her size that didn't cost half the grocery budget.

Scissors, check. Glue, check. Crayons, check. Markers, check. Tissues, check. Headphones for computer, check (and, uh ... wow).

Do I have enough stuff for lunches? Will she eat her lunch? What if she doesn't eat? How will she learn anything on an empty stomach?

I now am reminded of "The Backyardigans." I sound like the anxiety-prone little penguin, Pablo. I picture myself, flippers raised in the air, head down, webbed feet going 'round in circles, muttering to myself.

I wonder what's going through Emma's mind? Let's see, she's still on familiar territory right now at her old daycare/preschool. Kids are so of-the-moment. Her biggest concern is likely deciding which silly bands she's going to trade and what's for snack.

Sigh. When my mind starts going and going and going like the Energizer bunny and my heart starts racing, I am grateful for a little saying that my grandmother kept on a wooden plaque just inside the back door of her home. It said: "Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen today that you and I can't handle together."

And while it calms me to know God is with me, it also heartens me to know that there are lots of other parents out there right now feeling the same way I am, whether their children are entering preschool, kindergarten, middle school, high school or college. Different ages, different stages, but similar sentiments, I'm sure.

It's not easy letting go. So when you're out and about this week, give a mom (or dad) an encouraging word, a knowing smile, a hug. If nothing else, it'll lower their blood pressure so they're around for the next important transition in their kids' lives!


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