Friday, September 7, 2012


They come as these tiny little people, weighing not more than a few pounds. Helpless. Beautiful. Innocent. To every parent holding them, they're just perfect. As every imperfect little person makes their way into the world, they are received into the arms of parents whose vision is completely clouded by love.
"Just... perfect."

All they do those first few days is eat and sleep and be cuddled and held. It seems like those first few weeks will last forever. In a slightly less enjoyable way, it seems like those first few nights will REALLY last forever. But they don't. They pass. The weeks turn into months; the months into years; and before our hearts are given the time to be still, to catch up, we're here: the first day of school.

For me, like so many other parents, watching my children grow and change brings profound joy but also an aching sorrow.

The good that is today will inevitably give way to the unknown of tomorrow.

 It's not that my heart fears all the tomorrows ahead; it's not that I would ever want to hold my children back from changing and growing and leaving.

It's just that today has been so good and I don't want it to end.

Even as I write this, I'm quick to remember that it hasn't all been easy or perfect or joyful. Jake and I, we've shared our moments of joy and love; we've shared our moments of tension and anger too. I've sinned against this little guy more times that I could possibly ever count. But God has been so gracious to me. My relationship with Jake, though tainted with my sin, has been overwhelmingly showered with His grace.

 Why am I including the shortcomings during what could be a sweet little post about my son's first day of school? Because pictures and descriptions like these can have the unfair tendency to depict a life that only shines. But do any of us ever only shine?

I bumped into a neighbourhood friend of mine at Dollarama the other night. She was with her three children and I was with mine. We chatted in the aisle for a few minutes. The next day I saw her at the playground and she told me that when she saw me in that store with my three little ones, it took her aback how peaceful and lovely me and my kids looked. I laughed. "You just caught us in a good moment." I told her. "There was just as good a chance that you would have turned the corner of that aisle and seen me yelling or threatening or doing any number of unlovely things." And that's the truth.

You just caught me in a good moment.

Blogs are kinda like that, I think. They're the good moments that might bring laughter; they're the encouraging ideas or stories that might spur a friend along on this path of life. What I share on this little blog of ours is real. What I share on here are legitimate 'Galottis' moments. But if you're a friend who reads this, and you ever look at my pictures or read my descriptions and think that we are always peaceful and only shine, then I should probably try harder to share more about the other moments too. 

But back to Jake... back to his first day.

He was so excited; he has been looking forward to this day for months. Finally, after endless waiting and talking and dreaming about school, the big day has arrived. His snack is packed. His backpack is ready to go. His red chucks are laced up on his feet. He's ready, standing impatiently looking out the window, rearing to go.

I sat down beside him, reached over, and pulled him onto my lap. "Hey Jake, let me just pray with you for a minute before we go downstairs to meet Daddy, OK?" His little arms reached around my neck and he asked "Can I pray first, Mom?"

Of course.

My four year old son, sitting on my lap, arms wrapped around me, prayed these words: 

"Father, I just want to thank you for today. I want to thank you for Mommy. I want to pray that You would keep her and Josh and Ella while I'm gone. I want to pray that she would not be sad while I'm at school. I want to pray that you would be her keeper. Amen."

A couple short moments passed. He opened his eyes to check why I wasn't praying. I couldn't speak past the lump in my throat. "Thank you, Jake." I managed to whisper.

I sat there looking at my son, amazed at the grace that me and my little family have been shown. Jake is four and he was about to experience a longing of his little heart, yet in that moment, what emerged from that heart were words of love and concern for his mother and for his little brother and sister.

We headed downstairs to meet Justin. 

More pictures.
More prayer.

And then it was time to go. 

My sweet Jake.
How I love this little man of mine.