Be warned - this is a mommy post.
Today my son started middle school. Ahhh . . . junior high, that lovely time between childhood dependance and high school freedom where everyone is awkward, everyone tries to hide it, and everyone is unsuccessful.
I cried. I waited until he was gone, out of the car, in the building, on his way to class. I watched as he found his friend, hearing the cackles of their laughter as they made their way up the stairs, and I turned my head, and I cried.
I didn't cry because I was sad. I didn't cry because I was scared. I didn't cry because I was worried.
I prayed as we drove away from the school. I prayed for courage for him and I prayed for peace for me. Usually, when I pray for peace, it comes instantly. In fact, I usually just speak the word peace, and peace comes.
But not today. Today the tears spilled from my eyes, no matter how hard I tried to contain them. I continued to talk to the Lord, telling him that I knew he was taking care of my son, that he was in control, that he was with us all the time, that he loved us more than we could possibly understand - that he loves my son more than I could.
Yet still the tears came. I asked the Lord to take them away, and I felt like he said, "Why? Your tears are fine. Your tears are a reflection of your heart. Let them come."
And so I did. And then peace came.
My Father used my role as a mother to be my Father today. I know that seems like a rolling sentence, but it's true. As I sat in the car, trying to name my emotions, realizing that I wasn't sad or scared or worried, I finally came to see - these emotions, this stuff - it's just being a parent. It's love.
This love is a product of all you've worked on with your child. It's equal parts hope and exasperation. It's laughter and tears - sometimes at the same time. This love is both healing and cleansing, celebration and joy, discipline and strength.
And as much as I hate the cliche - this love is having your heart beat outside of your body. It's watching your child go forth, and thinking - there goes my life. It's your heart breaking, as he takes on new risks, meets new people, tries new things.
I've heard people say, when dealing with a broken bone - "It's a good break." I always thought that was a weird thing to say. I get what they mean - if you have to break a bone, this was a good way to do it. It'll heal well, be good as new, stronger than ever. But still - a good break?
Today I get it. Today my heart broke a little. But it's a good break. It'll heal well, be good as new, be stronger than ever.
And I'll probably still cry.