They graduated from pre-school on Friday. There was pomp. There was circumstance. There were red caps and gowns. And me? I was easy to pick out of the audience: I was the mommy rolling her eyes.
Not because I don’t love my girls or have tons of pride in what they’ve done this year. More because they are four. And not only do I think caps and gowns should be reserved for graduation from high school, but my girls aren’t really moving on to something different yet, as they will be in pre-K next year at the same school. So we’ll do it all again…except this time their caps and gowns will be white. The big time.
Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole thing, I still managed to push my way to the front row and pull out the zoom lens. One twin made it from the diploma to the sign language Jesus Loves Me. The other ended up in tears, quietly exiting the stage during I’ve Got A Smile In My Pocket. Can you guess which one? I figured no biggie. She’ll have another chance next year.
Then last night as I tucked them in, one of my girls snuggled close and asked, “Mommy, will you stay with me forever?” Instinctive response? Absolutely, baby. Which is, of course, what I said. But I know I can’t really promise forever. I can’t promise that something won’t happen to take me away. I can’t promise health or safety. I can’t promise forever.
Mostly, I just considered the progression of life. There will be a day when I can’t be with her in the ways that I would like. A day when she won’t really want me to stay with her. She might even want me to go away. There will be a day when it just won’t be appropriate to have mommy right there, by her side.
Like with these girls. I have known them since they were 11. And now, they are graduating from high school. Back then, they were awkward and shy, giggly and fragile. And now they are adults…women with kind hearts, real cars and nicely painted toenails. They have majors and boyfriends and plans. Lots of plans.
And they all have mommies. Mommies like me who never thought it would come to this. But something else all these girls have? They all have Jesus. I’d like to think, as one of their small group leaders, I played a small role in them getting to know Him better. What an honor if that’s true. Mostly, it’s a relief.
Because their mommies can’t go with them on their first day of college. She won’t pack their lunch. She won’t get a call from their teacher b/c they are afraid to go to the bathroom. She won’t take them to Chick-fil-a after Calculus. But they have a Savior who delights in them and promises His presence with them. He can go with them. He will go with them. He will be with them forever.
That is the only reason why a sentimental mommy like me can rest. Because even though this graduation wasn’t real, the day will come when it will be. And I think my job as a mommy is to depend on Jesus: to allow him to meet my needs so I can meet their needs. And as they grow, they will be learning to go to Him themselves. Because He alone is the only one who can promise them forever.
What a relief.