Henry starts Kindergarten in a couple weeks and according to almost everyone this makes me one step closer to freedom. My first child is starting school, all day kindergarten none the less. A couple years ago I thought having the first of my three in school would put me closer to the goal tired moms everywhere work toward: get all your kids in school. I am discovering that for me and my family I couldn't have been more wrong.
Now don't misundertand. I need time away from my kids. Quite honestly I am exhausted by them. It's mind numbing work to wipe bottoms, break up fights, listen to whining, buckle and unbuckle car seats, make PB&J's just to turn around and serve another snack an hour later, whip out crafts, break up more fights, wipe noses, and be touched CONSTANTLY by nasty little hands that gross even me - their mother - out! But as I approach the sought after milestone of "finally" having a school age child I am discovering something I missed until recently. The goal of early childhood is NOT to work toward the day you can drop your child off at school. The goal of early childhood is to take full advantage of the time you have them under your wing, making sure to invest diligently, lovingly and wholeheartedly into the lives that have been entrusted into your care. These early years are formative and as Mom I have been given the privilege and responsibility to train my children in the way they should go.
My hearts desire is to see my children equipped with the spiritual foundation, confidence and character to handle all that life throws at them. I believe that these life long skills take shape in the first 5 years of life. And I hope that after they slay the dragons that await them in kindergarten and beyond my children will never be too old to come home for cookies and milk. I will however, gladly leave them to handle their own bottom wiping.