Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School

Today was the first day of seventh grade for my son.

Unlike me when I was a kid, Benjamin slept soundly last night.  Growing up, the night before the first day of school for me was a sleepless one as I was too nervous to sleep.  Waking him up for school was difficult, not that I wanted to get up either, as I'm not at all a morning person.

Once he was up, had his breakfast, and was dressed and ready for school, it was time for the yearly first day of school tradition: the photo.  Every year I have taken a first day of school photo because I love to look back at how much he's changed over the years.  As Benjamin's gotten older, the willingness to have this photo taken has diminished and this year was no different.  But he agreed to do it for his Mom.  As the willingness has gone, so has the smile.  I have to work to get him to smile for the camera.  Then as I'm trying to get a good picture, I get, "Papa" in a tone that means, "Hurry up, I didn't even want to take this stupid photo."  I took several photos in the hopes that even one would be something other than a sulk.  He was relieved when I told him, "Okay, we're done."

The car ride to school we listened to 98.3 FM His Radio with Rob & Leslie, just like we do every morning.  And we talked.  This is one of my favorite parts of the day, our conversations going to school (as well as the ones we have coming from school).

Since it was the first day of school, the line to drop off kids was huge.  As we're waiting in the long line, Benjamin looks over at me and asks, "Aren't you gonna' pray for me?"

I beamed.  This has been one of our other traditions: me praying for him each day in the car before he gets out to go into the school building.  "Of course I will," I replied.  And we prayed.  I prayed that he would find favor with his new teachers and with other students, that he would be full of wisdom, and that he would be a light to others in all that he says and does during the course of his school day.

"Thanks, Papa," he said after we'd finished and he opened his car door to get out.

"Love you, buddy," I told him.

"Love you," he smiled as he closed the door.

Watching him go into the school, I couldn't help but think of Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way  he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Yesterday, at church, he went up front at the end of the service to tell our pastor that he wanted to be baptized to profess his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Today he remembers to remind me to pray with him before he goes into the school.

In a world where so many investments only lead to failure (just look at Wall Street), I'm glad that one of the most important investments I'm making is in my son.  There is nothing greater I can teach him than to be a godly man who worships God with all his heart, soul, and mind.  I pray that when he's a Papa, he, too, will pray with his children before they go off to school.

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