Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sharing Firsts

I remember the day I dropped her off for her first day of kindergarten.  The school recommended that parents refrain from walking their scholars to class that first day. Probably to avoid meltdowns and tears--  from the parents.  

It had taken me all summer to get over the fact that kindergarten in Florida was A FULL DAY.

Now, as I dropped her off from the car line into the arms of a stranger, I wondered how she would survive without me all day.  All day alone in the big world.  I drove slowly out of the school lot, watching to make sure she found her room.  What kind of cold-hearted officials would expect a FIVE YEAR OLD to find her own classroom on her very first day of school ever?

Never mind that it was a country school--one with signs prohibiting the riding of skateboards and horses on the sidewalks.

Never mind that just three days earlier we had toured the school and met her teacher.

Still, I felt as if I were abandoning my baby by just dropping her there.

It wasn't our first "first" and it wasn't our last.

However, because she is my first, every first of hers is a first of mine.

No matter how tiny she was, once I had my second baby, she has always been "the big kid."

She became a big kid before she even turned two years old.

As the big kid, she was first at everything--and we shared every one, because it was my "first" as a mom, too.

The first one to lose a tooth and the first one to figure out that the tooth fairy pays MUCH better when you are lucky enough to lose your tooth at Granny's house.

The first to ride a bike.

The first one to spend a week away from us on a mission trip. (When she was only TEN!!!!)

The first one with pierced ears.

The first go to a high school dance.

The first one to drive.  The first one to drive alone (shudder).

I shared each one.  I shared the first (but not the last) heartbreak and my heart broke, too.

I shared the first (and I hope last) car accident.

I watched her sign a legally binding "release of liability" for the first time and watched....okay, I couldn't watch but I was right there... as she became the first in the family with a nose piercing.

And now, she is the first graduate.

As strong and bossy as she is, I have lately been surprised when she resists change or new experiences.  I have been a bit stunned that she, the most opinionated of my kids, hesitates at stepping into her future.

This is the girl who baits her own hook, skins alligators, worms cows, and changes her own oil. She should be fearless!

Perhaps her hesitation is because no one has gone before her.  She is the first.

Father, will You give some extra grace to our first born, our experiment?

We absolutely did not know what we were doing; I can think of a million things I wish I had done differently.

Her brother and sister will benefit from what we learn from all of the firsts her father and I have shared with her, but I get no "do over" with my first born.

By the grace of God alone, we don't need one. She was an experiment to us, but not to Him. He knew her before we did.

She is strong, she is brilliant, and she is fully capable of finding her classroom at college by herself.  Lord, help her every day to also find You.


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