Friday, October 23, 2009

Magic School Bus

How can it be that the bus stop stirs up so much in me? Am I a kook? That's a rhetorical question. There is something about the kids walking away, going somewhere else, away from me, to grow and learn... I have a love/hate thing going with it. I love that they're becoming their own people, going off into the world for just a little while. I hate that it's a reminder that someday they'll do it for real. They'll grow all the way up, or at least go all the way away. Their care will be beyond my jurisdiction.

I was thinking this morning about how my kids walk to the bus stop differently in the mornings:
I have one who wants me to be at the bus stop, or be watching it until the bus comes. Love that I'm still wanted, "needed," and you know, a little fresh air won't kill me in the morning. Hate that I'm often in the driveway or walking down the street in my jammies, that the weather is getting yukky, and hate that I suspect a little bit of a power/control thing, getting mom to do our bidding.

I have another one who kisses me good bye, professes love for me, and walks out the door, never looking back. Love the confidence, and the readiness to start the day. I like to think some of it comes from knowing there's love at home. Hate that there isn't even one tiny bit of needing me once the threshold has been crossed. I feel out of sight and out of mind.

And finally, I have one who bounds out the door, adjusting jacket and backpack, all a little discombobulated, gets to the end of the driveway, turns and goes about 10 paces or so down the street, and ALWAYS, like a reflex, looks back to see if I'm watching, and gives me a wave. Ok, I just love everything about this departure. It makes me smile every morning. But I still get that squishy feeling as the steps take my baby farther and farther away.

The Bible reminds us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for love, and a time for hate. It doesn't mention this battle in my heart where I'm engaged in both at the same time. But that same passage in the third chapter is about seasons. I think my struggle is now and has often been to fully appreciate the season that I'm in right now. Not anxiously awaiting the next thing, and being completely IN the season I'm in. So maybe loving and hating simultaneously is how I do it. I don't know.

At the end of his whole "there's a time for this and a time for that" message, Solomon says, "What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God." (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13)NLT

Oh Lord, help me enjoy the gifts that these children are, and help me to remember the WHOLE SCOPE of Your work, here on our street, in our home, in our lives.

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