We all have the one anxiety dream, the one that continues to plague us throughout our nights when we should be resting soundly. Mine involves my high school locker. I've either forgotten my combination or I can't get it to work or I can't find my locker or my books aren't there when I do finally get it open. Why on earth the locker has become the staple of my anxiety based dream, I will never know, but it's all mine.
Yesterday was registration day for David's 7th grade year. We had already filled out all the forms, so we only had to drop off copies of our bills proving our address and pick up his schedule. Once that was complete, we found his locker. Just looking at the little slip of paper with the combination and directions for using brought up that feeling of anxiety in my chest. But I talked him through it, and he got it on his first try. And then he practiced it several times until he felt more comfortable. And then we walked through the halls and located all his classrooms, visiting with familiar faces all along the way.
In those big halls full of kids in varying stages of adolescence, I couldn't help but look at my child and feel he just looked to young to be there. Too young to be 7th grade. Too young to walk past a group of 8th grade football players wearing their jerseys as they walk the halls, already pronouncing their dominance before the first day of school. Too young to be getting certain looks from young ladies as we walked past them and they said hello to him.
It's all going by so fast.
I think back to the day I tried something I had seen on television. David was an infant, and he was a crier. He cried for the bulk of his first several months of life, and I was at my wits end. So I propped the vacuum cleaner up on its side in the floor of his nursery and turned it on. His crying went silent, and I fled the room for a little reprieve. I felt so trapped back then by his dependence on me, by his needing me for every single thing. I felt so trapped by my inadequacy when I couldn't make his crying stop. I felt so overwhelmed by this little life that was all under my control. What I couldn't see was how easy it really was back then, how easily I could protect him from the world even if I didn't know how to stop his cries.
Oh how I wish I could put him in a crib and flip the vacuum cleaner on again, drowning out the noise of this crazy world of middle school he's about to step foot into.
Dear Lord... thank you for my David. Thank you for his wit and sense of humor and laughter we share. Thank you for his caring heart. Thank you for the areas in which he is challenged as this is where You will help him grow. Protect him, Lord. Give him a sense of Your presence even when he doesn't realize what it is. Give him peace about a new year, a new school. Be that Voice inside his head helping him to make good choices. Give me strength as his mom to love him through it all and not to fret too much. Amen...