I took this one, the one with the size 4T rocket overalls and hair that needs a trim and the shoes forever on the wrong feet back to school shopping this week.
And now I'm not sure I can send him.
Because of this.
He rarely brings his lovee places anymore. For many years it was an extra appendage. And not a bonus appendage, like an extra finger or toe. It was like a third lung-- he couldn't breathe quite fully if it wasn't in his chubby little toddler hand. Never out of sight. Never out of mind.
These days it's often left in the corner of his bed or misplaced beneath a couch cushion, only to be discovered days later. He's always pleasantly surprised to discover it, but never even requests it for bedtime.
But as he hoped out of the car and into the baking July heat of the Target parking lot, he had it in hand.
And he looked so small.
So unbelievably small.
And the parking lot felt big.
And Target felt big.
And the whole world felt big.
We gathered our watercolors and our glue sticks and our Kleenex boxes and checked things off the little yellow list our school gave us. That little blue lovee swinging from his hand the whole time. His thumb running over the tag as he cheerful bounced beside me, chattering and holding my hand "just for fun."
We shared a cup of Oreo ice cream, taking turns with the long handled plastic spoon, and tried to imagine together his new classroom and his teacher and all the friends.
But really I was busy memorizing him. And his little tooth gap, and the sparkles in his eyes, and the funny way his hair parts in the front. And falling in love with him all over again. Right there in the food court near the AMC. The way I did in the NICU room that first time I held him after he was born.
I texted my friends, in tears, over that little hand clutching that little lovee— and they so perfectly described where he is: standing right at the threshold between two worlds.
And I can see him there.
Standing in the doorframe between the nursery and a world, still small and contained, but much bigger than the four walls of our home. Standing there. Anticipation in his eyes. Anxious energy coiled in his body, ready to spring.
And the thing is. I know he's ready. I just really hope he takes his lovee with him.
But you guys- my momma heart is just struggling. And all the what ifs. And the maybes. And the way my fingers itch to control every little detail and know every little thing and protect him from every single ache.
Trusting him to the Lord is the very hardest trust yet.
"Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons,
And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.
(Isaiah 45:11, NASB)