As of Friday, we finished up our fourth week of school. The school year is flying by already! Levi was so pumped for first grade. And look how cute and grown-up he looks all dressed up and actually wearing a shirt! On the way to school the first day, one of Levi’s cousins told my sister-in-law that it “feels so weird to be wearing a shirt”. Ha ha ha. I think Levi would share in his sentiment.
We had such a good summer but Levi was ready to try out this all day school thing. (He only went half-day for kindergarten.) His favorite part of school is lunch. I am going to be in trouble when summer rolls around again because apparently his school has amazing cooks. I don’t think my daily sandwiches will reach the high bar that they seem to be setting for me.
There we go. Look how cute they are. The little boys wouldn’t tell you that they miss Levi but, oh my goodness, those first few weeks were rough. I didn’t realize what a peacemaker Levi is among his brothers. So, we are all adjusting. Mom is figuring out life with a school kid, the little boys are figuring out how to get along when it’s just the two of them, and Levi is loving school. His only complaints have been that he is tired and has to miss out on some farming. And he misses his mom sooooo much! Ok, he didn’t say that he misses me but I know deep down he really does. 😉
I have to share one more first day of school story…
As I was walking down the hallway after dropping Levi off that first day, one of our teacher friends caught my arm and said she had something for me. She came out of her classroom and handed me a vase of flowers. There were three pink roses. I was so surprised and asked her why she was giving me flowers. I mean, the teachers should be getting all the flowers! She quickly told me to read the card and went back to her class. As I was walking out of the building it clicked that Cora would have been in third grade this year. Cora would have been in her class. The card said that as she prepared her classroom this year and wrote out student’s names many times, she thought of our family. She wondered what Cora would have been like and wished she could have had Cora in her class this year. The three pink roses were for third grade. And then I sobbed. One of the silly things that breaks my heart every year is that I don’t get to see my girl’s name written on name tags and school supplies. I always wonder what it would be like to see Cora Paige McClenahan on the class list. I wonder what it would be like to walk her to her classroom along with her brother. I wonder what her personality would have been like among her classmates and who her friends would have been.
This summer I parked myself in Psalm 139 for awhile and was amazed as I thought about what it means to be completely known by our Creator God. I mean, we all long to be known, right? Opening that card on the first day of school was like getting a big hug from God, a God who really knows me and loves me despite the mess that I am. A reminder that even seven years later God knows that my heart still hurts a little knowing that Cora’s name is not on the third grade class list. He knows that I hate that I can’t write her name on school supplies even though that sounds so silly to say out loud. He knows that I still long to know what my baby Cora would have been like as a third grade girl. He “discerns my thoughts from afar” and is “acquainted with all my ways”. And like the Psalmist, I cannot even fathom being known and loved like this. It is too wonderful! What a blessing to be able to rest in the presence, character and grace of the One who knows and loves me. God is always good no matter what, but it’s like extra goodness when He uses His people to encourage one another. We have the best friends.
It is hard to believe my days of having all three boys home all day have past. We are officially entering the school years. What a gift it is to watch my kids grow up and reach the next milestone, or the next school year. I mean, I miss Levi like crazy when he is at school but it is so awesome to be his mom and have the privilege of training him up as he becomes a “big boy”. Whenever I am missing Cora it is just another reminder of how precious these days are. First day, first grade. These school years are a gift and I’m ready to cheer on that cute little first grader who is so full of personality!