Today is Daughter’s first day of third grade and her first day at a brand new school. She’s afraid she won’t find a friend. She’s also afraid of the science teacher who reportedly hangs a skeleton from the ceiling.
We’ve managed first-day-of-school with her before, but not while we, her parents, were also navigating first-days of our own; Meredith is in the third week of her new job, and I’ve got seven months under my belt but staring down the barrel of the start of youth programs this weekend. It’s not great. You’d much rather accompany your kid on her first-day with a clear head, confident of where you stand in the world.
But this is how growth and learning happens, isn’t it? You don’t get to set the conditions for the challenges you face. They show up–sometimes on schedule, sometimes not–and call on you to respond, to meet them with whatever you’ve got. You don’t get to wait until you’re on your A-Game before acting. That’s true for parenting, pastoring, and every other meaningful work we want to do.
So here’s to pushing through, faking it, putting on a brave face, and all the other strategies we employ on the first-days.