They say that in south Texas we don’t have “seasons”, but I disagree. We may not see the evidence of physical changes in nature but as months go by on the calendar, we do experience seasons of life, such as the start of a new school year.
Back to school means back to routine. Gone are the lazy days of summer. Life goes back to scheduled breakfasts, not “whenever we get up”. Lunches must be planned, not “whatever we want to grab”. Homework and practices alter our evening meal plans, making those leisure times around the dinner table harder to come by.
Yet, there is excitement that comes with newness: new classroom, new teachers, new friends. I love the possibilities that come with unsharpened pencils and reams of lined paper. There is adventure in the unknown and the yet to come.
Our children adapt very well to their new environment. A parent’s task is to gently guide them through the challenges and help them navigate the opportunities. To remind the frightened child entering a kindergarten class for the first time, that “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). To encourage the one who is concerned with being liked by classmates that, “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). And when the perils of instruction seem too much for them to handle to reason God’s word to their hearts that, “The fear of the Lord, is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
This season will soon give way to the next season, and even though we may not notice by looking out the window, we can be assured through careful observation that just as leaves change colors our children change and grow and sometimes fall. It is the job of parents to navigate the transition with prayer and scripture always directing their paths in the way that it should go, trusting in God’s faithfulness.