There they go, little backpacks bobbing into the fast-moving energy of hundreds of other bobbing backpacks. I watch their second-grader and kindergartener heads weave through the wave of kids and my heart is overcome with pride and love and worry. Their business is to go. Mine is to walk away and let them.
As teacher parents, of course we want them to learn academics and problem solving and the art of loving to learn. But mostly? I want them to learn who they are. To learn how God made them singularly and sufficiently. To learn about their classmates. To engage in their joys and heartbreaks in ways uniquely privileged to peer relationships in their kid world that we don’t get admittance to anymore as adults.
My job is to speak a foundation of holy identity over my children, making conversations about their inherent worthiness and unique strengths so normal they internalize these guiding posts into their vernacular and their heart. My role is to walk away from those little backpacks believing the power of the Spirit is accessible to them as children; that their tiny ears and tiny souls packed up in their tiny bodies can hear God’s infinite Spirit repeat the whisper of identity into them – yes, even at public school – and they hear the guidance of God’s love draw them into relationship with others, intuit needs of others, and respond accordingly.
Backpacks bobbing down colorful tiled halls, little bodies on their way to do big things. One last eye contact, one last wink, one last thumbs up. They’re not waiting to be a part of this Kingdom come to earth until they’re older; they are an active part of it now. Joy, pride, worry, what-ifs, anticipation, love, the whole swirl of feelings as I watch them walk away. The parenting tango of structure and freedom. Yes, their job is to go. My job is to let them.