Please tighten your seat belts and secure all personal items. Remember to keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times. We kindly ask that you remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop. Good luck and please enjoy the ride.
After weeks of long summer days, sleeping in, endless play, pool time and playing till our hearts content, each click inches us towards the top.
School supplies purchased, click. School uniforms and back pack ready to go, click. Turned in our summer homework, click. Found our classrooms at the meet and greet, click. Favorite snacks purchased for their lunchbox, click. Fun in the pool and cookout to celebrate the end of summer, click. Snuggled in their bed dreaming of all the summer fun, click.
And now here we sit at the very top. What once was a quiet place is replaced with loud sounds of a pounding heart and the whirling thoughts of what’s to come on your first day of school. The noise is almost deafening. This is the place where nothing happens as we sit and we wait…wait for the fun, wait for the scary moments, wait for the inevitable screams.
Tomorrow the alarms will go off earlier than we had hoped for and it’s in that brief moment that we realize it’s too late to go back and fit one more summer plan into our schedule and the only way through this is to start the ride. We take one more final breathe for the inevitable before us and we jump in full speed ahead down the first hill with screams of excitement as our hair stands on end from the accelerating speeds.
And just like our roller coaster ride, 1st and 4th grade will bring moments of bubbled over excitement where we can’t help but scream for joy. Then around the corner there will be the times when we have to close our eyes because we can’t bear to see what’s around the bend. Sure there will be cork screws and upside turns and moments where we think we can’t take it anymore. We won’t know if we should laugh or if we should cry. There will even be those moments where we lock eyes looking for the reassuring glance that it will all turn out just right. Those will be the precious moments where no words are even needed.
We may not be able to predict what will come over the next hill of the ride or which way it will turn on this year ahead of us. But I do know this, as we charge down the hill, we can white knuckle our way through the inevitable new school year and the year of adventure ahead of us or we can let go with all out surrender to God as we lift our hands in the air and let out the loudest scream of total obedience to Him so that when this next school year is over and the 1st & 4th grade ride comes to a halt, we can look at each other with windblown hair and a thumping heart and say, “Shew, what a ride!”
We’ll sit with you on these rides as long as we can until it’s time for you to ride it alone or until you ask us to wait for you at the end. But until then, we will be the one sitting next to you whispering in your ear, telling you how great you’re doing, laughing as we go around the crazy turns, and encouraging you to open your eyes, because you’re not going to want to miss what’s next.
To my 1st & 4th graders, my heart is overwhelmed with pride and excitement for this new journey you are about to take. You’ve got this…now check your seat belt one more time…and enjoy the ride. The best is yet to come!