My sweet chubby baby walked his way into elementary school this week.

To celebrate this huge step into the world of education (homework for the next 15 years…at least), my husband and I took Quade out on a special “You Are A Big, BIG Boy” date. We wanted to mark this moment. To appreciate this thing called “growing up”. To stir up excitement over homework (worth a shot).

The quiet drive to the restaurant proved Quade didn’t know what to do having Bruce and I all to himself.  I kept asking questions to pull him out of his shell (and be intentional)…”What are you most excited about for this year?” “Who do you hope is in your class?” “What do you think you will learn?” He stuck to single word responses.

Do you know what finally got him talking? Raspberry Lemonade. Not only was he talking, he was laughing. Which at first was super cute and fun. But then he laughed hysterically and it was no longer cute or fun (this picture was taken just before he became super-duper nutso…note the cup in hand…which we had to remove soon after).

My first lesson of first grade: I still have a young boy. Quade isn’t leaving home just yet. He is still silly and sweet.

The morning we dropped Quade off at school didn’t go as smoothly or as “teary” as planned. In the hustle and bustle of getting out the door in the correct uniform, there was no time to get emotional. If you know me well you may be in complete shock right now. I know I was a little surprised myself. I truly think one of the reasons no tears were shed, was because I knew this woman would be shepherding Quade’s heart and growing his mind. That brought me so much joy there was no room for sadness!

She glows with all the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This lovely, wise, godly woman has a story to tell (one I may get permission from her to share here one day). She has come through trials most of us pray never to experience. Through the fire she has been refined to pure gold.

My second lesson in first grade came in our parent-teacher meeting. Quade’s teacher shared the important role the father places in spiritual leadership. She looked directly at Bruce and said:

“Moms are like the gentle rain. Dripping throughout the day God’s Word and love into your children’s lives. Dads are like a thunderstorm. Your words are memorable. The time spent with your children drenches deep into their souls. So don’t rush through your Bible reading. Make it a conversation.”

Amazing, right? I love the picture of moms as the gentle rain and dads as the thunderstorm. More importantly the idea of Bruce being challenged to be a spiritual leader by our son’s first grade teacher actually brought tears to my eyes. (By the way, Bruce is a wonderful spiritual leader in our home…just loved the encouragement from an outsider).

My third lesson in first grade was from the admission director on back-to-school night. She said,

“Our main goals are for your children to feel safe and loved. Safe & loved. Not necessarily happy (although they usually are happy).”

In my perfectionist/achievement way, I get so caught up in doing everything “right”. Yet in pursuing perfect I’ve neglected “safe & loved.” During this first week of first grade I’m taking a step back and making sure my boys feel safe and loved.

I’ll tell you Quade has been soooo happy this week. Joyful. He has been happier this week than I’ve seen him in a long while. 

So many wonderful nuggets of wisdom in just the first week of first grade. Can’t wait to unwrap gifts the rest of the year.

Have your kiddos started school yet? Don’t you love the lessons we learn going through school again!