It’s no secret that Thatcher has struggled this year with kindergarten. Academically he is doing well, but he struggles each morning to go to school. Once he’s there, he likes it fine. But the process of getting there is often tearful.
A friend recommended The Kissing Hand as a book dealing with separation anxieties, and we have enjoyed it. Since reading the book to Thatcher, each morning I’ll kiss his hand as the mom racoon does in the book to help her son deal with loneliness at school.
While the hand-kiss each day has helped, it is a handwritten note that has made the most difference–either from Michael or me. Every morning, he makes certain that a note gets in his possession before he leaves. I am convinced that if he had no note, he wouldn’t even get in the car to go. Some days he’ll even tell me what he wants the note to say, “Mom, make sure to write I will always love you on it.” I oblige. If he’s bringing his lunch, the note goes in his lunch box. If not, it goes in his pocket.
I really wasn’t planning to do it every day, but it means so much to him that there’s no way I could NOT write one. We started on the first day of school and based on the importance of that simple piece of paper, we will continue until summer arrives. On the initial day, he surprised his teacher with his ability to read the note out loud to her.
Sometimes, the little folded paper message falls from his pocket and the worn creases make it very apparent that he’s opened and refolded the note many times that day. While I realized it meant a lot to him, I didn’t recognize just how much until this past week at parent-teacher conference. His teacher, Mrs. Kelley, mentioned his daily messages from home and the comfort they bring. I fought back tears when she continued to explain that sometimes my tender-hearted Thatcher will sit under the playground’s landing and will read, savor, then re-read the note from home. He gets so distracted and absorbed in the note that she has to remind and encourage him to go play with his friends. And then he runs off to play.
Later, back at my house, my mind drifted to the lesson that can be learned from Thatcher’s eagerness to receive our message of love. He craves a love note every day, yet haven’t I received just such a note from my Heavenly Father? Like Thatcher, do I carefully read, reread, and savor the life-giving words written within God’s Word to me? Am I relishing God’s message so much that I’m distracted enough to pay no attention to life’s surroundings?
Or conversely, are life’s surroundings distracting me so much that I pay little attention to His Word? Certainly convicted, I thought of one more amazing thought. Unlike Thatcher, I never have to ask, “Make sure to write I will always love you,” Because my Father already has done just that.
Wide. Long. High. Deep is his love for me. And I hope to be just like Thatcher as I study my message from Home.