To My Boys on Their First Day of School

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My Dear Boys,

The thing that I love most about both of you is that while you are mine, you are utterly yourselves.

Your souls cannot be contained or controlled, and that’s exactly what most terrifies and thrills me about being your mom.

Today you started school.

And what I know is that while you are not alone on your new journey, neither am I. I’m surrounded by other moms and dads who are doing the same thing, loving their kiddos while they are with them and while they aren’t.

So here’s what I know.

Transitions hurt, and stretching feels like a small kind of death, and that's okay.
There’s this saying, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder,” and I feel that already, felt it the moment we stepped out that door and left you for a few hours to learn and grow.

When you wake up in the morning, there will be things like oatmeal and strawberries waiting for you, and when you go to bed, there will be stories of Grandmother Moon and Waynaboozhoo.

And the next morning, I will be waiting with sage, so that when we burn it we can remember who we are. And when you go to bed that next night, there will be stories of Harry Potter and Hagrid, Ron and Hermione to lead you to the deepest parts of your imagination.

You see, this is why the stretching is both beautiful and hard.

Because of the stretching, we will make room for the sacred. We will gather when we are together, and when we are apart, we will do the work we’re called to do.

 

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My Dear Boys,

When you see the world, both now and later when you’re grown, I might ask you to report back to me.

I might ask you to let me know what you’ve seen and heard, what overwhelmed your senses, what distracted you, what brought you comfort, what hurt you.

I might ask, because for now, we’ve got things to share with each other, before the leaving and the cleaving that one day will come in one form or another.

Before that, we report to each other so that we grow together, so that this world experiences all of us, our stories meshed and molded with one another’s stories.

We do this now so that one day, when you build family and community far from my grasp, I can watch in awe of the people you become.

I can watch in awe that your souls grew and stretched to bloom into exactly who you were created to be.

 

So, my dear boys,

Go, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.

Go, and when you come home, I’ll be there, waiting.

Go, make the world more beautiful and right wrongs, because that’s the shape of you.

Go, and as you go, I’ll be going, so that when we come together we will know how to be ready for whatever lies ahead of us.

 

Albus Dumbledore says, “there are all kinds of courage,” and I know that to be true, because I’ve seen it in you time and again.

Let your kind of courage be the thing that guides you.

 

I love you.

 

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Year of Listening: finding myself in the reading room

With my husband’s parking pass, I spent a few hours on campus. I grabbed a coffee in my keep cup and headed across the brick-lined road to the library, where the security guard greeted me.

“Welcome to the library, where all your dreams come true,” this tall and kind African American man said.

I smiled and told him that I was there to return a book for my husband, but that I’d certainly be reading, too.

I quickly made my way to level three and found it: The William L. Matheson Reading Room.

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When we first moved here, Travis brought me to this room, and the Rory Gilmore inside of me had to hold back her whoops of delight.

A room lined with periodicals, a room with a marble floor that every chair scoot bounces noise off of. Long tables with lamps, nooks with chairs.

I looked at a psychology magazine and wondered for a moment what it would be like to be in school again.

My four years of motherhood at home with the boys have been just what we all needed.

And as we continue the journey, I’m being called back, ushered into another world that will bleed into my mommy one.

The boys and I, we are students. We learn together every day, our curiosity overflowing into our little apartment home and our world– sometimes I think those walls can barely contain us.

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A few weeks ago, God spoke something to me. It was something like, “Maybe what your boys need to see you doing is following me, as wild as it may turn out to be.”

And so I cried and said, “yes, yes, I know,” and we’ve kept praying and pressing in.

So for the next year or so, we are waiting.

We are processing and looking and examining, and our hope is that I can go to seminary while we’re living here.

We are seeking that we may find, and every day I am inviting the boys along with me– because this journey is ours.

So I sit in the reading room, and remember how He has wired me– to be the curious soul, the hard working student, the diligent learner. It is my joy.

So maybe in this next year of the wait, I’ll come back to this room when I can, and sit at this table and write and dream.

And because it’s quiet, and it’s not a bustling coffee shop or the comfort of my bed at home where I often read and write, it’s a new experience in listening.

At Wednesday night bible study a few weeks ago, our interim pastor Roger Paynter said, “We’re still a part of the story, you see?”

This is my story, and our story.

And it’ll be crazy, and we’ll take one step forward and two back, but they will be our steps, nonetheless.

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So say a prayer for this family of ours, will you friends?

And may we all listen in when God tells of the mystery-things that so delight His heart.