The Night Before the First Day of School

It is the night before school starts and all through the house… things are, well, pretty laid back. I wish I could say we’re excited, but it’s rather chill at the Prosser House.

Of course, this is not to say that my children are indifferent to the beginning of the academic term… simply that it’s not a big deal. They know the drill, they’re ready, and it’s just another ebb and flow in the voyage of our family.

Gaelynn, in a sense, has had something of a taste of school for weeks already. That may be one reason why it’s no big deal for her. With athletic training camp during July, and marching band “two-a-days” in August, there’s not much of a “reunion” to be had with classmates and teachers. Indeed, she’s seen them off and on all summer.

I suspect my 7th Grader’s feeling a bit of apprehension about starting middle school sports and marching band, but she’s concealing it well. Israel admitted to me tonight that he wished the summer would last just a little bit longer. But my 4th Grader followed this by saying he looked forward to being able to hang out with his friends more regularly. The administrators and teachers all adore him, so I know he walks into a loving and nurturing environment.

Sophia starts proper Kindergarten tomorrow and is just giddy. Last week she got to see her new classroom during “Meet the Teacher” and learned that she is surrounded by three of her closest friends in adjacent seats. The most extroverted of all our children, I expect she’ll have a rousing good time in Kindergarten.

Liam and Xander are still at home, so there’s little discernible change in their demeanor. I know Liam will miss having his siblings at home, but I’m sure he’ll also be glad to have complete dominion over the books and toys for a few hours each day.

As breezy as my sweet children approach this new school year, as their father I am not permitted to do so.

My children are precious gifts given to me by our Lord, not merely for my amusement or affection, but nascent human beings through which He will work wonders. I am simply not at liberty to act as though their education is a trifle, but must do all I can to prepare and train them to be adults in this world and servants of the Most High. Thus, their education is one of my highest priorities

Of course, it needn’t be a cumbersome or tedious task, but it is certainly one that consumes a large portion of my thoughts.

Even as my children regard their education much as they regard most of the pursuits and tasks I set before them: as a “game within a game” of sorts, it is incumbent on me that they are equipped – intellectually, emotionally, spiritually – as they continue to see the gears and structures behind the illusions of our world. Trading their childish things for a wide glimpse of the universe as a masterpiece.

To be perfectly honest, Candace and I are probably more anxious than any of the children. We’re looking at a few wrinkles to our schedule, and we’re both going to kind of “watch the market” to see how things develop.

Right now though, we’re as ready as ready can be. The children have been fed a hearty supper, scrubbed clean and groomed. All of the house and their bedrooms have been tidied and put into proper order. Their clothes, backpacks, and supplies carefully organized and laid out. Tomorrow they will arise early, eat a filling breakfast, and start another fun-filled, productive, and engaging academic term. Full of sound and fury, signifying everything.

Come now, the game begins again.

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