The day actually came.
I can’t believe it.
Today was the first day of 3-year-old preschool for Aniston.
I know, I know…BIG DAY!!!
It’s a day Cherie and I hoped would come but dreaded that it would all at the same time. Our little girl is now able to walk, talk, write, say her colors and numbers, brush her teeth, climb in the truck herself, put her “pack pack” on, and more things that even sappy parents don’t care about.
As I walked into her class today it was awesome to see her eyes get wide and her mouth stay open just a little bit as she took it all in. We found her cubby where she hung her “pack pack” and I even got to show here what the little strap on the top it was used for. I signed her in, helped her wash her hands, and then knelt down to say good-bye. She gave me her Beeger kiss and rubbed it in my cheek and then one of her famous big hugs.
But something strange happened right after that I wasn’t expecting…she let go.
No cling on, no crying, no “stay daddy”, but just a simple turn of the head and into the fray of kids without a problem.
I thought to myself, “That little stinker! Doesn’t she know that deep down I want her to cling to my leg, shed a few tears, and plead for me not to go? I think I may need to do this to you just so you know what it’s supposed to look like!”
Fortunately inner monologues don’t go audible and she didn’t here me.
So after she scooted along, I scooped up Easton and off Lil’ E and I went. By the time I got to the truck, strapped Easton in, and sat in my seat it might have been 10 minutes from parked to drop off. It was over that quick. Day one of school was in motion and my little girl was off and running.
Part of me couldn’t help but wonder why she was so ok though.
- Was it the preparing we did weeks in advance when we got her supplies?
- Was it her little buddy Gibson who she confidently walked into class behind?
- Was it the awesome little girl God blessed us with in her natural confident nature?
It may have been a combination of all of those things, but deep down I think I know the real reason.
You see, right before we left the house today I made sure we took time to do something. After I did her hair (as best as I could) I scooped my little Beeg up in my arms and we sat on the couch together. I wrapped my arms around her and said “Can daddy pray for you?” and she looked at me with her big blue eyes and said “yes daddy.”
I prayed that she had a good day at school, was polite to her teachers, kind to her friends, but I also thanked God for her. I thanked Him for the gift she was to her mommy and I. I asked Him to help her to be brave and not scared at school. I hugged her tight as I asked God to be with my little girl and keep her safe. In Jesus name…we both said…Amen.”
I believe Aniston was ok today because I know she knows God is with her and He loves her. She knows that because it wasn’t the first time she heard this. We have prayed together, read the Bible together, talked about Jesus, and talked about the love of God since she was weeks old in the NICU at Christ Hospital. She is covered with the love of God in her life and I guarantee she will continue to hear that as long as Cherie and I have breath.
We truly believe what Solomon says in Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Listen, I know this doesn’t guarantee she will be a perfect angel her whole life. I know she may get into trouble and we may be looking for the return policy on her from time to time, but right now I can see this being true in my little girl.
And I can tell you this with 100% confidence, that it makes this weepy, sappy, red eyed dad feel good knowing that although her daddy may be driving away, her real Dad is right there with her as she traces her hand and colors outside the lines. God loves that girl more than I do and that must be pretty intense because, except for my wife, I’ve never felt a love like this before.
So I will continue to pray and train our kids up in the Lord because I know that it makes for amazing eternal rewards and easier drive homes.