Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sending Our First-born off to School

Today we sent our eldest son off to school for the first time. He was ready. He didn't even balk when the bus pulled up--he just climbed right on board. No tears or fears. Not even from mom & dad (my wife happened to be working the closing shift today so she was here when he left and come home from school). A few from the little brother, but that was because he wanted to be going on the bus, too. He knows he'll be getting some schooling at home this year: we call it Pappa's School of Hard Knocks. He headed out with big brother this morning wearing his own backpack. But he was disappointed to find out that he didn't get to ride a bus to his school today and that his school was just the old desk in the corner of his bedroom. But he did get a field trip--to the grocery store.

Everyone had been asking us how we'll handle sending our first-born off to school. It really wasn't too big of a deal (though it may have been if we had given ourselves time to reflect on it this morning--especially about how time is flying by so quickly). I think this transition is going to be hardest on the little borther, not having his big brother around in the mornings. At least for a while. I think it's also going to make my job harder only having the 2 1/2 year old around now, since he'll be more in demand of my attention. He was talking nonstop the whole time in the car this morning as we were going to get groceries and run errands.

Our oldest is ready for school, though. I know some people understandably have a hard time sending their kids off to school. Some don't even do it, opting to home school, simply because they're afraid of their kids getting tainted. And that is a concern of ours--the things he will pick up from the older kids on the bus (thankfully it's only K-3rd grade). But that's why we're making having one stay-at-home parent a priority for our kids. We want to make sure they are brought up with the morals we want them to have. We want them to learn from us first and foremost. We want them to know that we're investing in them.

Our pastor Efrem Smith pointed out last Sunday, if we're investing in our children as parents and being good stewards with them, we have nothing to fear. Efrem said, "Why does peer pressure always have to be negative--that we're afraid of what the world is going to do to our kids? No. The world needs to be afraid of what our kids are going to do to them. That's positive peer pressure."

So maybe that's one of the best reasons to do this stay-at-home dad thing: I get to train my children up in the way they should go so that I don't have to worry about them when they're off on their own. There are still plenty of lessons to learn, but he'll do fine. He'll succeed. And he'll have us there to cheer him on the whole way.

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