Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kindergarten and Getting Back to our Heavenly Home

This morning Cheyenne walked onto the bus for kindergarten. She'll be gone everyday from almost 8am to nearly 4pm. This marks the beginning of our separation, mother from child.

I've been really consumed with what this separation means. It's the start of a lifelong separation, in some ways. I will no longer be the only influence in her life. Many of those influences will be good I hope, but some of them may be the opposite.

She'll have teachers who don't appreciate her and peers who don't think she's good enough. She'll experience humiliation, and being left out. Although negative, I know these things are necessary for growth and learning, necessary for developing empathy and becoming resilient. But I also know my heart will hurt when she experiences the ugly parts of this world. It is crushing to imagine my sweet, innocent five-year-old becoming somehow tainted by it all. 

I couldn't help thinking, as I was trying to process all of this, that this is exactly how our Heavenly Father feels. Maybe when he was getting ready to send us down to earth, he hugged us a little tighter and said, "Don't go!" He too knew what was ahead, the hurdles we would have to face. And more than anything that He hopes for us to learn, He longs to have us back home. 

It brought to mind this quote from one of my favorite books, President Eyring's biography I Will Lead You Along. This is from his wife Kathleen:

"Last week I took my five-year-old to kindergarten...

"The first day she left for school, the most important knowledge I wanted her to get was the knowledge of how to get home. I counted a great deal on the teacher walking my little girl down the hall after school, taking her outside to the bus, showing her which of the the three or four buses to get on, and explaining where to get off. If she didn't gain that particular knowledge, it didn't matter to me if she were to learn calculus or Latin, it would have meant nothing to me. The most important knowledge for her to get was how to get home." (p.488)

As Cheyenne got on the bus and I turned around to head back to our house without her, short sad sobs escaped my mouth as tears rolled down my face. "Just let her come home," I said myself, "Just let my sweet Cheyenne make it home!" And tonight, triumphant, beaming, red-faced and happy, she did!