Thursday, September 14, 2006

One Step Closer to Growing Up

I got the opportunity to take Margie and the kids to school today. Actually, Margie wasn't going to school, but you bet your bottom dollar that she sure wanted to be inside with the kids!! Although Sam and Lucas have already started classes, today was Jake's first day. The morning started off with the best part of waking up: Lucas squashing my junk. Sure beats a good cup of coffee, but if I had a choice, I'd rather go with the coffee. After getting the kids into the car, strapping them in, and driving over to the school, we start walking. Let me tell you, the excitement in these kids!! I don't EVER remember being this excited for school, but apparently the Goodyear clan is a bunch of keeners.

We walk to the door that leads to Jake's classroom and wait for his teacher to come out and collect the children. At this point, all 3 kids are still with us, but shortly after, Luke peaces out, and so does Sam, which leaves me with Margie and Jake. As the teacher come out and starts calling names, Jake's expression begins to change. From the bundle of excitement and joy not 10 minutes earlier to a child finally realizing what's going on. As his name is called, he walks to the door, but not before his mom grabs him, give him a hug and a kiss. Although he's already inside, safe behind school walls, we wait. For what? I'm not sure, but all I know is I need to keep it together and not let this momentus day get the best of me. As we begin to make plans to take off, a familiar face pops out from behind the teacher. It's Jake, who has since changed from a 'deer in the headlights' look to a red faced, teary eyed child waving goodbye to mom. At this point, I knew all bets were off for a "dry goodbye". Margie acknowledges Jake's gentle wave of farewell with a wave goodbye of her own, and slowly turns away. The tears that were on Jake's face begin to appear on Margie's. As I saw this, I was trying to think of what to say, but I knew there were no words in our known english vocabulary to console a fabulous mother crying for her precious child. All I could do was put my arm around her as we walked across a quiet playground back to the car.

I was able to experience something today that I've since only read about or heard stories of. In the narrative story we call the Bible, we are told a story about a parent who loved so much that he was willing to temporarily part ways with his child for the sake of humanity. Up until 9:00am Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, September 14, 2006, I had no idea what it felt like to have to leave a child, even if it was for a short while. Now I do. Now I have an inkling to what it's like to love someone so much that parting ways for a mere 2 hours seems like a lifetime. Today, I caught a glimpse of what selfless love can look like by vicariously living through Margie. Today, with tears in my eyes, I was given another model to follow for when I have my own children. If I can love my children with a fraction of the love Margie has for her kids, I think things will be ok. Thank you, Margie, for letting me be a part of your day today. You've changed me in ways 2 years of seminary could only dream of accomplishing. I will never forget it.

To all the mothers and fathers out there who have brought their children to school, I applaud you for your strength, your love, and your sacrifice. Because of today, I see each of you with a new set of eyes. Thanks for loving your kids, even when we're absolute turd burglars who don't reciprocate nearly the same kind or amount of love.

And to my mom and dad. I'm sure you don't read this, but I want all the world to know that I appreciate you both and love you more than my words and actions lead you to believe. For all that you've sarificed to keep us happy, all the tears that you've shed because of how I've hurt you, all the late nights of staying up worrying because I forget to call home, and all the arguments I've instigated because of my stubbornness, I thank you for continuing to love me regardless of my shortcomings and selfishness. I love you both so much, and even though I don't tell you that enough, I hope that one day I can. I hope that someday, somehow, I can love you back with a fraction of the love you've shown me over the years. I love you mom and dad.


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