i have a preschooler.

It's hard to believe that summer is coming to an end and soon enough we will see Christmas decor overflowing the aisles of retail stores. All signs that it's time for kids to begin or go back to school. I am trying to mentally prepare myself on sending my eldest son to preschool. Yes, it may only be twice a week for a few hours each day, but those are hours spent without me there and it's hard not to think about how he is no longer my little baby boy. 

I already know that he does not need to go to school at so young of an age, but for my son he craves friends and loves activities so we know it will be great for him. We have been preparing Calvin for his new adventure in little ways. We point out his school every time we drive by it and talk about the importance of being kind to our friends and listening to our teacher. Part of me wishes that there was a double sided mirror or a live camera so I can watch all of his little interactions. So that I can give him a kiss when his feelings get hurt and watch his excitement when he plays on the playground. As much as I can say we are doing this for him, we are also doing this for us. Since Calvin is our first, everything with him has always been trial and error so to speak. With firstborns (I was one of those, too!) parents try different parenting styles to find what works best and for now we think this is what is best for all of us.. 

When looking into preschool for him, we were looking for only a handful of things:

  1. Safety - High door knobs for exiting/entering the facility and a strict policy of who can drop off and pick-up kids.
  2. Big Playground - It was important to us for Calvin to have a lot of area to roam, explore, and have fun things to jump on and ride with.
  3. Cleanliness - Yes, kids are dirty and mess things up but it was important to me that he goes to a school where the carpets and bathrooms are clean and that the school didn't have a funky smell (some do!).
  4. Kind Teachers - Calvin is still young and it was crucial to me that he has a teacher that was mother-like and gentle. Of course, teachers need to make sure there is order but I wanted him to have someone that was patient and loving too.
  5. Diversity - I grew up with friends who had many different backgrounds and nationalities and in order for him to prepare slightly for the real world I think it's helpful for him to learn to play and make friends with a variety of people who are not all like him. 

I am thankful that we found a great school for him and hope it will be something he will look back on with fond memories (or at least that he can remember through pictures). We are looking forward to having him come home and telling us all about his day. I am sure he will be begging to go back to the classroom on the weekends. The idea that he will be making friends, learning about Christ, and be able to release energy in a safe learning environment excites us.  My favorite quality about him is his love for people and how social he is. 

We don't have our next fifteen or so years of school planned out for our boys. In a few months or next year we may decide to home school or do a hybrid/charter version, but for now we are focusing on the little adventure of preschool. Max and I will be using those two days to bond together and to get some daily errands done. Our lives are about to change in a small way and it only reminds me even more of how much we need to cherish every little moment with our kids. It really does go by too quickly! I may always look forward to nap-time and bedtime for a break, but there is nothing I find more joy in, apart from Christ, than loving on my little Davis boys. 

Are your kids getting ready to start school again? Do you home school or send your kids to public/private school? Any advice for moms just entering into this stage of life?

Tent making is one of our favorite activities

Tent making is one of our favorite activities

Showing off his car collection

Showing off his car collection

Climbing trees at Orfila Winery

Climbing trees at Orfila Winery

Emoji happiness

Emoji happiness

i am a worrier.

The moment you find out you are pregnant, your mind becomes clouded with many mixed emotions. For some, one of the many is worry. A baby is now inside of your tummy, growing, and you are completely unable to help him or her. We can eat all the right things, exercise, drink lots of water, and pray. but the feeling of helplessness--of not knowing how your baby is doing each day can cause overwhelming anxiety and fear. 

My own personal grocery shopping/ fire fighter is here to protect the museum.

My own personal grocery shopping/ fire fighter is here to protect the museum.

I thought that once my kids were born and I had seen their faces that worry would go away, because I could at least tangibly touch them and and protect them. But as they have grown my worry and fear has only grown in different ways and I know it is not healthy. I don't sit on my couch all day worrying about their every move, but I have come to realize that I'm always examining everything to the smallest degree in order to eliminate any threat from coming their way (naive, unrealistic, I know). 

In some ways I blame social media and how it keeps mom's nerves up by posting the newest cancer-causing this, don't do that, do this, and if you do or don't it's all over anyways. As a parent you are faced with so many decisions and it is difficult to navigate what the best decision to make is for the well-being of your child.

Being a worrisome person can be exhausting and one can drive themselves crazy over the "what- ifs."  Of course I want to give my kids the best life I can give them in safety and health, but ultimately it is God alone who has their future in his hands. Every day there is something new to worry about and given my natural tendency to worry anyways I have had to choose my battles carefully. After talking to many mom friends and doing some research, here are a few things I think are worth worrying about and paying close attention to:

  • car seat safety: Even if we try to be the best driver in the world, the truth is there are plenty of dangerous people on the road who cause accidents. I can control my driving but I am realizing how many people on the road are texting, intoxicated, high or just plain distracted. Thanks to some great Facebook car seat safety groups, I have learned so much about how to best protect my kids in the car in case something was ever to happen. I will never throw out a manual again and never knew the importance of strapping my kids in correctly until after hearing some very sad stories.
  • nutrition: What we put into our bodies can either help us or hurt us. By giving the boys healthy food choices I can help them have a balanced palate that will only give them more delicious options in the future (I realize Calvin is a toddler and he will never say no to ice cream or treats, but by eliminating unnecessary foods on a daily basis like soda, juice (at least undiluted), chips, etc, I not only get rid of more unhealthy choices but am also saving us some money).
  • sleep: No brainer here. Non-negotiable. Sleeping is healthy. We are creatures, not the Creator, and since we have limitations we need rest. Sleep keeps us sane. I will always try to protect nap-time and bedtime for the sake of everyone in my household. 
  • hand washing and baths: Both my boys constantly have their hands in their mouths (all the time, no matter how many times we correct this bad, germ spreading and absorbing habit!) . They love rolling in dirt and just acting like boys. We try to wash their hands regularly and we do daily baths. My OCD has me washing my hands all the time because I always think of weird scenarios. I will wash my hands after touching salt and pepper shakers at a restaurant because of how many dirty hands have touched it before me. 
Bath time. 

Bath time. 

God is sovereign over all things. No amount of worrying or protection of my own can ever over rule God's hand in their lives. I find this both comforting and unsettling, but I am reminded by the Scriptures and by my pastors that I don't have to live in fear because the same God who spoke the world into existence and has saved me from the tyranny of the devil is the same God who created and sustains my kids lives--and my own. Our days are numbered. I can choose to embrace each day with my family or I can live in fear over what might happen next. At the end of the day, I pray that God would keep them safe and that I will get another day to love them and teach them about who Jesus Christ is and what he has done to save us from our sins.

Today I have my two boys and my husband. We are sick with colds but still generally healthy. We have joy.  We have hope. We have peace with God through Jesus Christ. I will not take for granted these wonderful gifts. 

Do you ever worry about your kids? Their future? Their health? What are some ways you try to protect them?

For those who are older and wiser, do you ever stop worrying about your children?