The beginning of the school year has first day jitters for many a young one, but also for the parents. I will never forget - the 'angst' of excitement, joy, worry and the pain of letting go - all rolled up into one big glump in my throat. Curbside, praying the kisses would somehow shield them from every 'evil' -MY littles, entrusted to ME; to guide, guard and steward were suddenly scooting off to experience the world unknown.     

And although I had done this twice before, it wasn't any easier - especially knowing that with my 3rd and last child, that this was the beginning of the 'lasts'. And tomorrow would be the last "first day" of Kindergarten. The house was finally quiet. So while preparing as the "Room Mom" for a simple devotional/object lesson for my sons all class party (a kite-flying festival), I prepared this poem as an encouragement for the parents:

Children are like Kites: Adapted from an original poem by Erma Bombeck
"You spend years trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you are both breathless.
They crash...they hit the rooftop.
You patch, comfort, adjust and teach.
Finally, they are airborne.
They need more string, and you keep letting it out.
They tug, and with each twist of the twine, there is a sadness that goes with joy.
The kite becomes more distant, and you know it won't be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you together and will
Only then, will you know that you have done your part."

As a "Kindergarten Mother" the tears flowed as I thought: "How terrifying- this is not fair!" The reality was here, that after all this nurturing and care, it was time to let out the string, or he would not fly. And it was also the first time I realized the inevitable- that with each year I was to let out more line. And that someday, that that string would snap -right from my fingers -due to the tug and pull of independence and adulthood. It was surreal, now was time for myself to step beyond the denial stage;- time to let out yet more line of string.

I continued to prayerfully meditate on the poem and the condition of my "Mommy-heart", "Oh Lord; show me your heart in this."  Preparing the poem, as I drew a picture of a kite above it, I grinned and let out a heavy sigh. Then in my heart, I heard, "Look". And there it was before my eyes, in the center of the kite was... the cross. "I will be there" the Holy Spirit spoke softly. Suddenly the fear of letting go left - as gentle as the wind lifts a kite.

An object lesson now for myself; a reminder to me, that after that kite string snaps, regardless of how far, how high or dangerous, my little kite goes; - that kite, regardless of will, tug, or pull, shall surely and sovereignly be held together and supported by the cross of Jesus.

"Train your child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6

Oh, how this lesson prepared me. It equipped me not only to let go but to trust and to instead, hold tighter the 'horns of the altar' in prayer more than I held on to my child. That gentle whisper allowed my fingers to finally uncoil, and it was then, as I exhaled, I could sense it: "The Lord your God is with you, He will quiet you with His love..." -Zephaniah 3:17

Wow...seventeen years ago I penned this and now, as I read this aged writing of mine, it is as fresh and powerful as that night. And again, I am in awe as my response now is: "Oh Lord, how prophetic" -For He, the one who holds the framework of my family, just like the wooden frame of the kite- He knew."  

And why? -For indeed as expected my child would pull from my fingers, but I did not have an inkling - a pinch of a smidgen of an idea that my little kite would someday wander by his own will to be caught and whisked away by a dangerous wind to almost crash. But all along, the framework of the cross was instilled in him - and the cross held.

He returned. Tested and strong, never to be taken or lost again. Of course, this is his story to tell -so I digress, but know are not alone, they will come home, and you both will be better for it. 

So this morning I sat a spell and said a prayer for you and interceded for your little kites you tend. -Know that others are praying for you too, because, whether you send them off in a long yellow bus, or onto a giant college campus, letting go never gets easier. And remember; children are like kites.

The Lord says:                                                                                                                                                                                          “My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles...
"  Isaiah 27b-31a                                                                                                                           His reminder to my heart, there is hope in the Lord, always. His arm of redemption is never too short.                                                                                                                                                    
Dedicated to my three (not so little) kites Jaclyn, Christopher, and James.                                  
Fly high - how I love to watch you soar...WOW.


© 2016, WOW Ministries International, Casey Schutrop

Letting go-what is your story?