Well, here it is, Kindergarten Eve, and I am holding up pretty well, surprisingly. I've mostly been thinking about all the emotions I've been through the last few days as I prepared for my little princess to start Kindergarten. I've posted Facebook comments, emailed friends and family, visited, but more importantly, just enjoyed everything about our precious Gracie. She has been so cute with how she talks about Kindergarten and her little nervous discussions would melt even the most hardened heart. All in all, I've had moments where the tears well up, (which I'm not a stranger to at all) but for the most part, I'm more concerned with being organized tomorrow and taking my sister-in-law Martha's advice and just enjoy/focus on Gracie's excitement.
As I go through all these emotions, lots of things come to my mind, most of them very vivid, strong emotions. In case you don't know me all that well, I'm a pretty emotional guy. I cried at my wedding, and many other milestone events including birthdays, anniversaries, National Anthem singings, sporting events, movies and many others. You name it, I've probably cried over it. I'm not ashamed of it, and I will never apologize for it. My mom always commented about how sensitive I was growing up. My heart ached for kids who were alone at school or on the playground, and when driving by "street people" in big cities when we would be traveling, I would get down on the floor of the car to avoid having to see them because I felt so sorry for them. So when I say I cry a lot, it's not the crying most people think of. It's just a very strong emotional reaction. Tough to describe. I'm thankful for this characteristic which I know is by design. Yeah it makes milestone events a little taxing emotionally, but it is well worth it. I'm pretty sure God knew what he was doing when he made me.
The reason I outline that about me is because I was thinking this morning while getting ready for church of Gracie's Kindergarten debut and my love for her at that point was indescribable and immeasurable. I thought, if I had this intense and real love for my daughter, how much must God's love for His people be? It blew my mind to try to wrap my head around it. I felt as though I was just going to explode thinking of how much I love Gracie and how the tears welled up just thinking of her being brave despite her nervousness as we drive to Sunnyside Elementary. I know how she will do this because she did it on her way to preschool at "Miss Diane's" Little Learners a short year ago. It just overwhelms me with love, pride, and joy to see her fidgeting and being brave for her mommy and daddy, when inside I know she is scared. At that moment of intense emotion I think "I would do ANYTHING for that little girl," and "although I would love to do a number of things to ensure she will be 100% comfortable, I have to let her experience things on her own, so she will grow and learn." In other words, I can't go to Kindergarten class with her all day every day, although I would love to. It is amazing that this "footprint" of Love is put unto us by our Almighty Creator. I believe it is a representation of His unconditional love for us. He hurts when we hurt, and He wants us to be happy. But He also knows we must go through trials and difficulties so that we will grow even closer to Him. Furthermore, it is also why our adoption of Gracie makes the bond even more special, because as Christians, we are all adopted sons and daughters of our Creator. Wow, awesome stuff.
So as I continue to prepare for tomorrow, I will continue to ask God to give me strength, at least enough so I'm not a sobbing mess. I just keep telling myself that crying like a baby will only make Gracie more unsure and nervous. That will be my motivation! Now after she settles in, and I walk away, all bets are off. I'm sure tomorrow will be a Jimmy Valvano day for me. One of my favorite speeches of all time is the Jimmy Valvano ESPY speech in which he says "Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day" Full Speech Transcript
I concur JimmyV. I have lots of "full" days. I am thankful for that.