The Struggle IS Real...
Have you ever felt your heart might break in your chest?
The first day of kindergarten can be one of the hardest days of a momma’s life. I remember when my oldest started kinder. I remember hearing her calling out to me in tears as I walked away down the hall. I couldn’t leave the building. I sat on a bench outside the office for a good while. I could hear her crying even that far away. Eventually, I don't know how, I made it to the car where I sat for about another hour crying myself.
Well, that was 9 years ago. So, it took me by surprise to be going through it again now. See, we have home-schooled for the last two years. It was a good experience for us, but we felt like it was time for our kids to be enrolled in public school.
Last week, I dropped my 9 year old off for 4th grade and my 14 year old off for high school. Man, getting them up and dropped off was a battle. They were afraid, worried, overwhelmed, and freaked out. I sat outside the school again that day. I cried and resisted the urge to run in and and say, “Never mind. Let’s go home!” But I knew that things would be better once they got there, met their teachers and classmates. I knew that I’d pick up two happy kids at the end of the day having learned that things weren't as bad as they seemed.
But no. Their first day was tough, and they begged me not to send them back. Each day since then has gotten better, and I do pick up happy kids. But they are never happy for the next day. We still have tears and dread. It’s like living with 2 of the 7 Dwarfs, Grumpy and Sleepy.
As I was praying for them and thinking about our decision, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. Was it too late to change my mind and bring them home? Should I? They were struggling so much, and it hurt my heart all the way through.
But then I remembered something that was on my 9th grader’s Algebra syllabus. “The struggle is real….but it is good.” I loved this when I saw it and instantly loved her math teacher. It is so similar to a philosophy that changed my life 3 years ago, “You can do hard things.” Not only can I do hard things, but I should embrace them, seek them out. It is when we are stretched that we grow. And growth is the path to happiness. I firmly believe that.
So, I became grateful for the struggle that my kids were facing. After all, there weren’t facing it alone. They are fully supported and surrounded. That struggle means they are growing. So, like the mom nerd that I am, I dropped them off today and from the privacy of my car, I raised my hands in their direction and shouted, ‘Grow, babies, grow!” ...then I quickly looked around to make sure no one saw me!