Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In Good Hands

This is my daughter on her first full day of school. She was over-the-top excited about attending her sister’s school with friends that she knew. While this smile tells you everything about her feelings of starting first grade, my heart was breaking. I knew this new schedule was going to take a toll on my little Llama Llama who always has such difficulty with new situations.
The return home from her second day of school played out more along the lines of what I had expected. A request to put away laundry produced tears. The thought of having to take a shower brought on a meltdown. She was able to get through the rest of the afternoon and evening by playing Barbies with her big sister. When it was time to put the toys away, however, all irrationality returned. It was no surprise that her eyes were closing by the end of story time and her body was relaxed long before daddy ended the prayer with "Amen".
Yesterday the girls asked to ride their scooters to the bus stop. (Actually, some requests were made for bikes. However, a momma can only do so much.) The two going off to school enjoyed some time on their scooters while my youngest (who would return to the house with me) pedaled her bicycle. (It was already a site: helping my preschooler on her bicycle while I carried scooters back to the house with the dog pulling me along on her leash. I couldn't imagine attempting to get two bikes back instead of scooters.)
When the request was made today to repeat the prior morning’s activities, I embraced being that “yes mom” everyone talks about. I even felt like I had a better handle on it this morning and didn’t look like quite a spectacle. All was going well. The girls even respected my request to keep their voices down because neighbors may still be sleeping at 7 o’clock in the morning.
I don’t know exactly what happened next but somehow Jaycie was sprawled on the sidewalk, yelling, with her scooter underneath her. My first regret came with shooshing her as she cried. Her little voice echoing “I’m sorry” rings in my ears as disappointment in my mothering pierces my heart. Was it really that important to quiet her cries in the early morning? Do I really want her to learn that she can’t cry when she is in pain?
It felt like forever to get all their school gear off of my shoulder in order to scoop her off the ground. As I knelt down to her level, I caught a glimpse of the school bus coming down the street. “I can’t go to school,” she cried. Rushing my girls across the street, the bus flew past our stop. I was thankful I had a few moments to assess the situation better. JayJay continued to cry that she couldn’t go to school as I found no blood and only a couple of little scrapes. Checking the time, my oldest ran back to the house for some Band-Aids. Was I doing the right thing by sending her off so quickly on the bus when she was obviously so upset? Her wounds were barely visible.
By the time my oldest got back with the supplies, my first grader had her backpack on and was requesting her lunch bag. All appeared well and their bus had not yet appeared. Thanking Nikelle for coming so willingly to her sister’s aid, I cleaned up scrapes and administered the Band-Aid... with plenty of time before the bus arrived. Nikelle went down the street on her scooter with Ande on her bicycle just as bus appeared. Calling Nikelle back, Andelise was frustrated at her lack of speed. Those little legs just could not pedal fast enough.
I helped Jaycie cross the street and went back to get her little sister. This is when the tears started to flow from Jaycie’s eyes. I really wish I could physically be in two places at once (or maybe that two people wouldn’t always need me at the same time in different places). I left my youngest to help my middle daughter get on the bus. Despite her pleas to stay home and her resistance to my escort, she got up the steps of the bus and instructed her to find her big sister.
I really hope the tears didn’t continue for her as they now filled my own eyes. The disappointment in my choices pierced my soul again. What kind of mother was I that I forced my little girl on the bus? Why didn’t I just give her the time to get her act together and drive her to school myself? Will there ever be a day when I quit questioning my parenting decisions?
My heart still hurts that I sent this little girl who has always struggled in social situations off for the day without me. I miss the close interaction with her and those involved in her day. Without the daily interaction with her teacher, I feel so disconnected. I don’t like it. While I know letting go is part of this process, I still wonder….
And I pray because while I have no control, I’m thankful she is not out there alone. Her Heavenly Father is watching over her with a love my own cannot even compare to. She is in good hands… ones marked with scars to show their love.
Thankfully, these scarred hands remind me that any pain and scarring I inflict on my children are covered by His grace. Amazing Grace.

"Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands." - Isaiah 49:15-16


  1. Tristi, I know how you feel. That night before Noah started Kindergarten last week and he and I cried together because I couldn't be the one to walk him to school... I still am upset over it. There are so many things I want to rewind and change from that day. But know this: you are a great mom! I have always thought so!

  2. Jenna, she just gave me a blank look after school today when I told her I was sorry I sent her to school in tears. I'm so glad that I chose to embrace God's grace and move through the day. Kids memories are short and we often feel pained by things way more than they do. Hope things are getting better for you as the week moves on.

  3. You said it right-- we can't be in two places at one time yet there are all these requests/demands/needs. From there comes our turn to the Parent who is omnipresent, the caregiver who never runs out of energy. So funny your comment about Jaycie's look after school. We need to borrow some of that resilience!