I held his hand from the truck as we walked to the playground. I gave him a hug and shook his hand free as I encouraged him to go play with the two little familiar faces from his short little childhood. I quickly made my way over, acting as if I belonged, to the two familiar “Mom” faces in the crowd. We made small talk and caught up on what we had been up to, all while my heart was beating like crazy at the thought of leaving my son. I talked to my friends about summer vacation and inside I was worrying about if he would make friends, if he would listen to his teachers, would he be shy? Would he be that annoying kid who is always jumping off the walls? Will he share? Will the teachers or other moms secretly be talking about what kind of parent I am, all while they enjoy their lunches or coffee dates. Have I really prepared him? Am I prepared?
The time quickly came for him to go to his class and meet his teacher. He begged me to pick him up, as I heard the nervousness in his voice. We compromised on a shoulder ride and I made my way to his classroom. I brought him down off my shoulders and encouraged him to run around with the other children as we waited for the classroom door to open. I introduced myself to other moms and tried to remember their names and somehow not forget it again in 2 seconds.
The door opened.
Such a friendly smiling face. His teacher. I felt so relieved. I am someone who loves people watching and I think that I have a great ability to be very discerning of people and to know who is trustworthy or not. So, when my eyes met hers and she introduced herself and crouched down to meet my son, my heart relaxed. He is going to be safe and loved here. More quickly than I would have wanted, he let go of my hand and raced to the first toy that caught his eye. I walked over to him playing with the sand table and quietly guided him back to the cubbies to show him what his morning school routine will look like. We found his hook and basket labeled with his name/class colour/ and an animal. He is a Frog:) We brought nothing with us this morning as it is only an hour so I gave in to his pleas to rejoin his “new friends” with all the toys. I stood there and watched. What a beautiful room this was. So much exploring and learning to be done and sooo much fun to be had. I really felt blessed to have the opportunity to send him to this school.
The History of this school and I, is filled with so many answered prayers and at one point in my life was my true safe haven when my life was crumbling around me. I only spent 5 short years attending this school but they were very important years in my life. I first walked through those hall ways when I was 12 years old and I was going on my tour of the school to prepare to attend the following september. I was meeted by many friendly and some familiar faces. My first official day was on the first day of Grade 8. Little did I know, but my future husband was also attending his first day of school and was currently goofing off with his best buddy (future best man) in the exact same class as me.
Through the years as I kept moving up in the high school the halls became more of a home to me and less of an institution. The classmates became family and attending school was my life. I played on the sports teams and made connections with 5 of my classmates that would last forever and a day. My husband and my 4 best friends who have and will always be there for me. When the time came for us to graduate and move on, I was probably feeling more lost than most.
That school had helped raise me and had truly provided me with something stable in my life. Now I get to send my children there. What a blessing. What an answer to prayer. I know this decision is going to stretch us more financially than we have ever been stretched and I know that it will be hard at times and we will wonder why we have made this decision. But isn’t that like everything in life? I want my children to be educated in an environment that is loving, stable, and affirming in who they are as children of God. I want to be able to have a say as a parent who is raising my children. Not all people will agree with me and the educational decision we made is not for every family. All I know, is the moment I walked through those halls and dropped my son off in his class, I was home.
Me and my love 2003. When we first left “Home”
The day we came back. 2015