This was written on the first day of Ethan's freshman year in high school in August of 2015.
Today is the last day of his freshman year of high school.... and we made it... and x=30 all. year. long.
(And he made a B+ in Geometry). -tb
It came today before my eyes were even open. As I peered out with one eye from behind the covers, I knew.
“Not today, Lord. Not today.”
A massive headache was already on the move. But I didn’t have time for a headache. Today was tightly calculated, which-parent-was-taking-which-child-where kind of day, and it all revolved around a day with no headache.
Maybe today a headache was actually the sweet grace of my Jesus who knew I needed to have a headache in order to keep my heart distracted. Today would be yet one more time in a series of years where I’ve had to let my vulnerable heart beat outside of my body.
In the still of this morning, as I walked into the dark room and sat down on the side of the bed of my first born, I saw a tiny baby in a 14 year old’s body. In a flash, I watched him learn to crawl, walk, run, speak, kick a ball, pack a lunch and study Geometry. And it all happened just that fast. Faster than I could make the memories out in my mind, it all happened. Today was the first day of High School. High School. He’s going to rock it like he’s done so many things before, I have no doubt, but as I look at him I can’t help but wonder, where has the last 14 years gone? How have we been so busy enjoying a great life that we went to bed and opened our eyes and woke to the first day of high school?
Last night he was nervous and the preliminary work he had been asked to do rattled him. Everything was different… teachers, school, expectations, friends, books, uniforms, schedules. Everything.
While working through a Geometry review to get him ready, he had slumped over his massive book in defeat, blonde hair falling over his arm that looked all the sudden shockingly large. He looked at me with those steely blue eyes and said, “Mom, I don’t know. I. Just. Don’t. Know.”
All his doubt over a Geometry problem and starting high school was the sum total of how I felt about him getting older. I.Just.Don’t.Know. that I can do it. I don’t know that I can let him fail forward and make decisions and watch him begin, ever so slowly, to leave the nest.
I said something motherly that I cannot recall at just about the same time his eyes focused on the polygon before him.
“Oh?” I said.
“Oh wait… I totally get it… this isn’t hard. x=30.”
(Smiling). “Yes love, x=30. You CAN do this. You know how to figure it out. God is with you and you are going to rock this. Not just problem #5, but all of it.”
“Yeah (smiling). I guess I will.”
So this morning, as I sat on the side of his bed, when my head was pounding as fast as the heart in my throat, I told the Lord that X was going to = 30 all year long. That I was going to rock this release and that my first born who was looking all of 25 at the moment was going to rock it as well.
Later that morning, we made a promise to each other as he shut the car door and walked into school. X=30. We would remind each other of God’s faithfulness. X=30. We could do this. X=30. When things were great…X=30. When things were completely falling apart…X still = 30.
We locked eyes. I pointed straight at him from across the parking lot and half shouted my charge.
“X=30, baby. X=30.”
He looked at me with those steely blue eyes, ran his hands through his hair, half smiled and said, “I love you, Mom. It sure does.”
Tara is Greg's girl, mom to two sons of thunder, a hunger fighter, big dreamer and worship pastor at seacoast church.