Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Note to Madeline

Welp.  It's happening.

Our baby, our youngest....is headed off to Kindergarten.

I knew it was going to happen quick.  Having 3 children 18 months apart, you are bound to go through some stages rather quickly.  It was not that long ago that I was watching through tear-bleared eyes as Owen, and then Hannah, walked through the doors of the school.

And there is no doubt in my mind that there will be tears for Madeline as well.

I am having similar feelings that I did for the last two, although they do vary a bit.  Obviously I've done this before.  It helps that Madeline (and me!) is lucky enough to get the same amazing teacher that Owen and Hannah did.

But, also, Madeline is our extrovert among introverts.   In a family that craves one on one and down time, Madeline longs for the love a group.

The thing she is most excited for?  "Seeing all my friends!"

But I still have that concern of sending her off into a classroom of peers.  It brings back all of my own feelings of inadequacy, and wanting other to like me, and trying to find my place among all the other kids.

And as I see the quiet, unsure side of Hannah that I can relate to, Madeline's need for the crowd also gives me pause.  The whole needing to be liked thing swings both ways, effecting the introvert and extrovert alike...just in different ways.

As I've said in another post, we often focus on making sure our kids find their value in God's eyes, and not in another human's favor.  It seems like they get it.

They get it in the safe, comfortable place of home.

But I think of all those unknowns for Madeline, those things that I went through that I really don't want her to experience.  I don't want to see her hurt.  I cringe of thinking of that day when someone verbally tears her down for something that at one point she cherished about himself.  Causing her to doubt everything about herself that at one time seemed so sure.

I want her to be equipped with the knowledge that I have now, after having gone through it myself.

But truthfully, those lessons are often learned through personal experience, and not because someone has told you.

You are a treasured child of the King.  The world is going to tell you that you are going to lose, but take heart - THEY DON'T KNOW THE RULES.

Don't take it personally when some kid makes fun of your mismatched on purpose clothing choices or the stuffed animal that you brought in for show in tell or calls you some name that brings tears to your eyes.  They only call you that to make their own selves feel better.  There is something about you that threatens them.  And by calling you out on your 'lameness' somehow makes them feel like you are back to their level.

I want you, Madeline, to be sure of yourself, knowing God has created you as a unique individual, with unique qualities and tastes.  The best person you can be is YOU, not an imitation of someone else.

People's valuation of you should not matter, only God's valuation of you should.  Measure yourself by his ruler, by His Word, not by the measuring stick of your peers.

Love God, show others God's love, despite their actions toward you.  Remember, you don't need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends that you can be certain of.

There will always be someone richer, cooler, smarter than you.  That's just life.  But there will also be others who are poorer, wallflowers, back of the class.  That's life, too.  But God doesn't play favorites and you shouldn't either.  Treat each peer as an equal, someone who is loved by Jesus, and in need of Jesus' love.

THIS is what I want you to know before you go to Kindergarten, Madeline.
It would save you a world of heartache.  But I know you, like me, will have to discover this for your own self.  I can only hope you figure it out sooner than I did.

You are so excited to start school and I love your excitement for learning.  May it continue to grow and to motivate you to learn more, not only about your world, but about others, about God, and about who you can be for Him.

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