Wednesday, September 16, 2009

To know and be known

We had open house at the boys' school last week. This, of course, involved visiting their classrooms, checking out samples of their school work, and basically seeing what it is they do all day.

Ethan's class had colored pictures of scarecrows, and they were hanging on the wall outside his classroom. The pictures did not have names on the front, but after perusing them for a minute or two, I bet Ethan that I could guess which one was his. I pointed to the one I knew had to be it, and he was so impressed that I could pick his picture out of all the ones hanging on the wall.

I know Ethan. I know his skill level and that he is a perfectionist, so he would not have scribbled or gone outside the lines. I know that he does not press down so hard that the color looks waxy like some of them did. I know that he likes things to be the correct color, so he would have colored the straw hat brown or yellow not green or blue. I know him.

There are a lot of difficult things about being a stay-at-home mom. The hours are tough, the job unpredictable, and the sick leave non-existent. I've missed being in the courtroom and wearing suits and having conversations with other adults on a regular basis. I've grown weary of the whining and the fighting and the crying.

But, you know what? I LOVE how well I know my kids. Having sent neither son to preschool, I have spent virtually all of my time with them for the past five years. There are very few milestones that I haven't witnessed, not many skills they possess that I haven't taught them, few questions they've asked that I have not answered, and a limited number of funny (or brilliant) things they've said that I have not heard.

I have been here.

Now that my boys are in school all day, I am recognizing what a precious gift that has been. I won't lie - I'm relishing the freedom that comes with two kids in school. But, I do miss them. I hate that someone else is the eyewitness to their days now, and I'm relegated to hearing what few things they can remember at the end of the day. (Even Lauren, after three hours of preschool, when asked what she did there, most often responds, "I don't remember." Is it that their joy over seeing me overwhelms all of their other mental faculties so that they are unable to remember anything they did in school except eat lunch?)

Like Ethan when I spotted his picture, Joshua was equally impressed on Saturday when I told him I could tell which player he was even from several soccer fields away. I unexpectedly was the assistant coach for Ethan's game Saturday morning, so I did not get to go watch Josh's since it was at the same time. But, I told him that even from so far away, I could tell from the way he stands which player was him. "No you couldn't," he said, "How do I stand?" So, I showed him. And, I was exactly right.

It made me think of how well my Heavenly Father must know me if I, an imperfect human parent, can know my kids so intimately, can pick up on the most intricate details of who they are.

It feels good to know, and it may feel even better to be known.


kim said...


Theresa Garcia said...

I love you so much Miss you guys!

beck'sthree said...

kim, are you still blogging? i can't access you!

Theresa, I miss you, too.

The Zevacs said...

awesome post becky. makes me glad i'm not sending luke to preschool either. many days i wish i thanks for the reminder of why i'm not. :)

This Heavenly Life said...

What a wonderful post - you picked a good one :) I had a hard time when Mia started preschool for some of the exact reasons you mentioned. It hurt when she came home singing a song *I'd* never heard. Using a phrase *I'd* never taught her. Using scissors that *I'd* never showed her how to use. It still saddens me when she can't answer most of my questions about what she did all day. I just want to be right next to her and see the look on her face when she's happy, or challenged, or upset, or excited. I want to be there. I'm lucky that I've gotten to be so very HERE, but I think that makes the GONE part even more difficult. Lovely post.

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

There's nothing quite like being there, is there?

Lovely post.