School starts in the morning.
Clothes are laid out. Backpacks are packed.
Lunches are not made. (I’ll get to it … just motivating myself to begin that labor of love again).
Jacob will be in third grade, Savannah and Brittany will be in middle school (6 and 8th) and Caroline (gasp) will be in 11th.
I remember my mom telling me when I was in 11th grade that she was worried she hadn’t taught me everything she wanted to teach me before I went to college. There was so much more she wanted me to learn. And I totally get that right now.
It’s been an interesting week. We got home from Minnesota on Wednesday and literally have not stopped since then. Meet the Teachers, Back to School parties, a volleyball tournament, etc. etc. The big question, everywhere we go, seems to be this …. “who is your teacher” or for the middle school girls … “what homeroom do you have”. Of course, everyone is excited and wants to know they will have a friend in their class.
But, Caroline, Brittany, Savannah and Jacob … if there is one thing I could tell you right now … tonight …. it’s this … it matters less who is in your class than who you are in your class.
Trust me …. I know what it’s like to want to have friends in your class. I’m pretty sure there are some of my teachers back in the day who wished I had a few less friends in my classes.
I know what it is like to see the list and wish this friend or that was in my class. I also remember the hurt I felt the year I was standing at your elementary school looking at the posted class list. I remember seeing one of your names on the list and then having a mom, whose child was in your class, say to her child … “UGH … we never get any GOOD people in our class”. And it hurt. It hurt me for you … and it hurt me.
But you know what … that was the year that someone from that class that you had befriended came to Vacation Bible School with you. It thrilled my heart.
One year one of you had a bad year educationally. You still say … “that was the worst year ever” … but you know what? That’s the year you, anonymously, brought a backpack and a new pair of shoes to a girl in your class because it bothered you that she didn’t have a backpack and that her shoes seemed too small.
You probably could have had a better teacher … but I know you were supposed to be in that class. You learned compassion. You learned about giving. And I think, somewhere, there is a girl who knew that someone loved her that year. I wouldn’t trade a thing about it.
So here is what I want you to know ….
I want you to know that it does matter who is in your class because you can look for ways to love anyone in there. You can look for ways to help your teachers and most importantly … you can be the reflection of the Christ that lives in each one of you … to everyone in your school.
Nothing would make me more proud.
There is a really special letter I read this week. Although I could not have written it as well … when I read it, it resonated so loudly with me because of what it said. The author told a story about a boy named Adam. I could have written the same story only the boy in my class was named Victor. I have no idea what happened to Victor but I do know that when the kids in my class laughed at him because he “smelled funny” … I didn’t stop them. It hurt me to see him hurt, it hurt me that he didn’t have any friends … but to my knowledge I didn’t do anything to make him feel loved.
And I regret that more than you can know.
So, sweet babies … please read this letter. It’s right here …
And then go out there and have the best year of school yet! Here’s a little secret … you already are in the “good” class. You are right where you are supposed to be … so go be the good in that class.
I love you so much.