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"As our hearts ponder" by Cassie Everts (CatholicMom.com) Photo by Xavier Mouton (2018) via Unsplash, CC0 Public Domain[/caption]
As I dropped my older boys off for their first day of school I was trying to grip with the reality that summer was indeed over and a new chapter is beginning. While we moms chatted I kept hearing the same theme reechoed; time goes by so fast, where did the summer go, it seems like summer just started, how are they back to school already. We all gave our last hug and farewell, fighting back the emotions and a few tears hoping no one would notice. Of course, our kiddos walked forward with confidence, not even looking back. Perhaps I am a bit more sentimental since I am typing this only hours after leaving them at school. Sometimes I wonder if it is because they came to our family through adoption and I missed the first four years of their life, so I feel like my time with them has been shortened. More so, I think it is a common feeling we mothers hold in our hearts as we feel the grip of their hands leaving ours with each passing year. Believe me, I had my moments this summer where I could not wait for them to be back in school. I would send texts to my husband along the lines of: how about school 365 days or is boarding school an option all year. We long to be there for our children, to be there cheering with them for their every success, wiping their tears during the disappointments, holding their hand during the times of anxiety and uncertainty and encouraging them during those difficult moments. It is the nerves of the unknown of what they will face during the day, wondering if they will want to talk to us about it when they come home, whether they will remember the virtues we have tried to instill in them or if they will fall to pressure from their peers. I have to remind myself they aren't ours to begin with, only precious gifts on loan to us from God. I have to take comfort that my concern and love for my children is only the tiniest fraction of the love God has for them. There is peace in knowing that it isn't all up to me, that they have a loving Father who is not only watching over them, but an active Father who reveals His infinite love to them each and every day. All of the little goodbyes are slowly preparing me for the moment when they will be sent out. Reality is, they won't want to live under my roof forever -- and truth be told, I probably won't want them to. Still, a mother's heart never fully lets go, because they are always our little ones no matter what their age may be. I can't help but call to mind all of the passages in scripture where it states that Mary pondered these things in her heart. The moments that were too difficult to grasp, too sorrowful to hear she kept them in her heart. When Christ began His public ministry I would have no doubt that Mary had those same feelings that we grapple with as she let go of her son's hands and He began His mission.
"And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart." Luke 2:19
 "And his mother kept all these things in her heart." Luke 2:51
When events in their lives seem to break them and I am not present to pick them up or they are too frustrated to allow me to comfort them I know that I can place them in Our Lady's hands. She will wrap her loving arms around them even when I am not able to. She will shelter them in her mantle and she will pour her grace into their hearts. As we all frantically ran around the house trying to get everyone fed and dressed to make it out the door in time for the classic first day of school pictures, I added an extra Hail Mary to our before-meal prayers, entrusting my little souls to her care. Later as I laid the smallest ones down for a nap I prayed two decades of the Rosary. My prayer was not extensive or anything formal, but a simple thought and turn towards her. One mother to another, sharing my heart with hers.
Copyright 2018 Cassie Everts