Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day of School

My older foster son has started on a journey with a new school, hopefully new friends and a new opportunity. Being seven years, plus 32 has taught me too much and not enough the nuances of life as a child. The most important years of learning aren't in college or graduate school, but in kindergarten through third grade. These are the years that for better or worse, have made me what I am to a great extent. My son has had a rough time in kindergarten and first grade; so much so that he's been blessed with the gift of another year.

As I led him to the gym, where a breakfast was waiting and I carrying our soon to be adopted 18 month old, the anxiety of the first day came and mercifully, went as quickly. It was if someone had put a reassuring hand on my shoulder "it's going to fine Walter, you can go home now." Despite my angst of making sure he knew where his classroom was, his account was paid up and we exchanged the obligatory hugs and goodbyes, it was all good.

After a very short day of playing with, feeding and changing our younger son, a quick trip to the school confirmed that our older son had in fact has a good day, despite his misgivings about making friends in a new school. It took everything in my own experience to reassure him that this too would pass and he too would make friends in due time. That and two warnings from his teacher about talking confirmed that he would be fine. Our son is a normal, typical seven year old, despite all he's been through.

But I like so much to tell him, and make him understand that life is a gift. Whether or not you have lots of friends or only a few is not a gauge of success in life, personal or otherwise. What will really make a difference in life is how we treat everyone, friend or enemy. I've resigned myself to the fact that this lesson may be beyond the comprehension of a seven year old. I know the Lord will give me the right words when the time is right.

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