Right of Passage

I had spent the better part of the last few months mourning my son going to school. I have been sad to start this new stage of our life. The stage where he spends more time away from home than at home. The stage where we increasingly get busier and I just become the driver. I'm not ready for this. (cause it's all about me right?)

Then I had a very good friend of mine ask if I was going to have talk with Big about starting school. It got me thinking about rights of passage and how we are one of very few cultures that actually transition their young men and women to the next stage of life.

I know this sounds really early, but my husband and I had been talking for some time about what that looks like for us to create these moments in our children's lives. Moments that they can look back on and say, "On this weekend, my dad took me on a special trip and we talked about what it means to be a man of God." Things along these lines.

We wanted to do a small version of this when our children start school. This is a significant moment of time. A time in their life when everything changes. There become other significant players in our children's lives. We wanted to take the time to remind them who they are. What does it mean to be a Christian in a non christian world? What do you do when something someone else does bothers you? Who do you tell? What do you say? These are just the beginning of the things we wanted to touch on in our special evening with Big.

If you read my previous post, you will know that Big ate candy he isn't supposed to have. We thought yesterday was going to be the day we saw the side effects.

We were wrong.

Today would be the day.

The last time Big ate a whole plate of pasta when he wasn't supposed to, he became a CRAZY angry person. This time he had five jelly beans. I never thought our kid was ADD. Today, I thought, if I didn't know any better, I would medicate him.

Holy Cow. Couldn't sit still, couldn't stop moving, couldn't stop running, couldn't stop touching everything in the store. He just couldn't stop!

So Paul and I started our time with Big taking him to the store to get his backpack for school. A special outing to signify his new adventure.

Here's big with his backpack of choice. He prefers the over the shoulder. We almost walked away with a pink princess one, but he told me I should get it and hold on to it when I missed him. We left it at the store.

After we got Big his spiffy new backpack, we headed to the Co-op for a special treat and took it to the sculpture gardens. It was about 65 degrees outside, not really ice cream weather, so we ate the icr cream in the greenhouse. Big choose green tea ice cream, so he got his own. No one wanted to share with him.

While eating ice cream, Paul and I started to chat with Big about the responsibility of school, being a child of God, what to expect, and how mom and dad were there for him. We also affirmed all the things we love about him and what his gifts are. I am pretty sure all of this was lost on our child who only cared about watching the chipmunk that made his way into the greenhouse. Remember the ADD kid? This was the wrong day to try to implant knowledge into our son.

Paul was trying so hard to turn this afternoon into what we had imagined, and it just wasn't working. We had to keep laughing about it, and keep trying.

After we chatted a little and ate some icrecream, we ventured out to the gardens to walk around. OK, let's be honest, Big ran and climbed everywhere, and Paul just chased him around, trying to wear him out.

This little moment was a rare one today because they are walking.

After we walked for a little bit, and played, Big really had to use the bathroom. The only one we could find was this one.

So we sent our kid over, he did his business and climbed himself over once again. Paul and I had our whole story worked out for the police in case they should happen to arrive.

After our restroom break, we sat our little china man down, Big is going to Chinese Immersion school on Thursday. It was time to pray over Big. I love praying over my kids and them getting an opportunity to hear what is on my heart in regards to them. This was special because Paul prayed first and then I got to pray over our little man. Prayers for wisdom, courage, strength, joy. Prayers for Big, his friends, his teachers. Prayers for Paul and I and God's wisdom in our lives and discernment in raising Big. I felt so good our prayer time.

Before the Amen was even complete, Big was up and starting to run away to play in the sculptures. Paul and I just shook our heads.

We had all sorts of plans for our special time. I clearly had many expectations of how it was going to go, how spiritual it would be, and the wisdom we would pass on to our child. i felt like none of those things happened.

But we did have a good time. We had some great conversation, and before Big starts school he will have a special bracelet to wear everyday to remind to whom he belongs.

Big was reminded that he is a child of God and that God will use him to bless others at his school. That he can be a witness to all those who he encounters.

It was our first rights of passage, and hopefully we get a LOT better at this because this one felt a little ridiculous.

So apparently a plate of gluten makes my son crazy angry. A few sugared candies gives him crazy energy. Both of which happen two days after eating it.

Good to know.

If you've never prayed a heartfelt prayer over your child, I encourage you to do so. It is a very rewarding, riching experience, I would assume for the child as well.