Monday, August 24, 2009

Kicking and Screaming

Today was the first day of Kindergarten for my final child. It was a hard morning. My kids were all awake, dressed and fed before 7am and counting down the minutes until we could finally walk to school. It seemed to take forever but once at school the time went too quickly to even begin to savor.

All went very smoothly; all 3 kids were smiling, David and I were smiling. But as the last child (not mine) entered the kindergarten classroom, it was evident it was going to be a long day for the kindergarten teacher: Kicking, screaming, clawing, escaping..... I began to cry as I thought of my precious little girl and how I had done so much to prepare her and confidently reassure her that she'd be fine. So much trust she had in me to go into the classroom alone and then this one child was so very upset! As the teacher tried to contain this little boy and calm him, several kids went to the doorway, looking for one more assurance from mom or dad that everything was indeed fine. Then the door closed but we could still hear the screaming and I said a silent prayer for the child, parents and teacher, as well as the kids. I then began to cry and my neighbor hugged me and said how can you be crying? But I was. I was fine until the kicking and screaming kid.

I wonder..... perhaps the kid was right to be kicking and screaming. Can you imagine being 4 years old, out of your routine and safety of home with a loving mom and dad and siblings and everything familiar that you know and love and be forced to come to a new place with new routines and rules that you don't even understand? Add to that this little boy's parents spoke a completely different language while consoling him. Can you imagine what it would be like? Being only four there's such a limited understanding and a desire for safety and familiarity.

In a way, it's logical. In fact the strange thing is that sometimes the logical things are not the best things or decisions. Logically it would be safer to keep my kids with me. Logically one would seek to minimize risks, hurts and unfairness. Yet the more one is exposed to these things the more learns from this and growth occurs. Building block upon building blocks of trust and experience. Even through failure one gains valuable insight that prepares them for yet more risk and hurt and true growth. I was reading the other day that working out and exercise actually is breaking the body down and it is through the recovery/repair phase that is building the body back up, better and stronger than before. I think life is a bit like that too...... to engage in things that are a stretch, or a struggle. To be uncomfortable and it's in that uncomfortableness that true growth occurs, if it is followed by a rest or recovery time to further absorb the "training".

I don't know. Lately I've been faced with multiple choices, and trying to wade into the muck to figure out which path is correct. Instinct tells me one thing: self preservation and safety yet these things that once brought security and safety haven't been working.... but the alternative seems much more risky and counter-intuitive. Logically, rationally, it simply makes little sense. Paradox. Last shall be first. Lose your life to gain it.

I don't know. In conclusion I have no answers except to say that there are many times I'm inwardly kicking and screaming too.

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