I’m excited, though now I’m a spectator. When convoys of buses and SUVs queue up in front of schools and the local parade of backpack-carrying children and stroller-pushing mothers march past, I feel like throwing confetti.
But a crazy lady, hopping up and down, yelling her head off, might scare the kids. Instead, I offer a silent, heartfelt prayer. (That’s still legal, isn’t it?)
Thank you for this opportunity for thousands of children to gain an education.
Many parents wondered if they and their offspring would live to see this day.
The back-to-school sales proved rugged tests. Brave mothers mediated arguments about who-gets-what that made Middle East diplomacy seem easy. Girls tried on 51 pairs of jeans, alternating cell phone consultations with their friends and their parents’ bankers. Little brothers suffered untold anguish when forced to accompany families to Intimate Departments.
By registration, some parents considered mortgaging their organs.
Thank you, Father, for talking them out of it. Thank You for never taking vacations during August, but remaining on the job to help everyone start the school year right.
This first morning hasn’t been easy, though kids jumped out of bed like kangaroos. Showers commenced with a minimum of hot-water controversy. The second-grader even used soap. But the middle-schooler discovered her first zit, and the teen, having spent four hours battling a bad hair day, had to be chained in the SUV.
Earplugs were distributed because of weeping and wailing.
Not the teen’s. The mom’s, because she was sending her youngest to kindergarten.
Who has experienced all of the above, plus planning lessons, decorating and attending group therapy sessions? Teachers, who wonder if their salaries will cover 963 boxes of Kleenex during flu season.
Yet You, Lord, have brought them all to this special morning.
Thanks for Your promise to be with everyone in coming days. New tennis shoes will blacken—by day two. Homework will be eaten by hungry dogs and sneaky computers. Trumpets will be forgotten/broken/hidden, or all of the above. Lesson plans that should soar will crash and burn. Taxi moms will handle schedules that defy the skills of an O’Hare International Airport flight controller.
Amid all these, You are there, Lord—the Father and Teacher of millions. Even recess duty is not beyond Your love and expertise.
You once were a student, so You know exactly how the first day of school feels. The second. And the one-hundred-third.
So as the back-to-school parade marches by, we know You — Who are immortal and invisible — jump for joy on the curb, throwing confetti. Please bless these students, parents, teachers and staff, and give them their best year ever. Amen.
What is your prayer for the coming school year?