Back to School

Three months ago it was the middle of May. With Summer looming large before us- long days of no school, no routine and no relief from the heat- the question in my mind was “What in the world am I going to do now?” Fast forward to the middle of August, summer at an end and school starting in just a few days, and oddly enough, I find that I am asking myself the same question “What in the world am I going to do now?” Normally at the end of summer, I get very excited about the beginning of fall. The routine and cooler weather are things I look forward to. This year, however, is a little bit different. In seven days, my oldest daughter, Kate, will begin kindergarten.

With the passing of each day, my nervousness and fear grow a little bit more. How will this work? What will we do all day without her? How will we be ready for the bus at 7 am? Will she like her teacher? Will I like her teacher? Will she make good friends? Have we made a good decision about the school she will attend?

Luckily, Kate is happily anticipating the beginning of school, never showing a sign of any doubts or fears. She is confident, friendly and social. She loves meeting new friends, and is excited about everything. The feelings of nervousness and fear that I have are not coming from her but rather from inside of me. I am re-living my own school experience and having the same butterflies in my stomach that I always had as a kid. As Kate begins all of this – the friends, the bus, the cafeteria, gym class, hall-passes, and backpacks – it is hard for me not to feel overwhelmed.

So, once again, I am being taught and humbled by my children and the Lord. I am being reminded that the Lord has placed us where we are, and He is sovereign over all things. Whether or not Kate knows this, she has a child-like confidence and dependence that I am striving for in my own life. God is using Kate, the focus of my worries, to change my outlook on all of this: to worry less and depend on Him more.

So, what will I do now? I will try to move forward through this scary transition with a more child-like confidence and a dependence on God that, ironically, I am being taught by my future kindergartener.

Ann Bernard is a member of All Saints. She is married to Tollie, and they have three children – Kate, Frances, and Tolbert.