It's back to school time and it was hard to get my sleepy self out of bed this morning. I made it though and packed the girls lunches, made sure they had breakfast, fixed Shelby's hair and miraculously remembered to pray and take a picture. It wasn't until I neared the door of the primary school that I was reminded of what was missing from the picture. A sweet boy, escorted by his parents, had a kindergarten mat under his arm. I suddenly felt like I had a boa constrictor around my chest. My eyes became hot and wet. Oh but there was no time for that. Suck it up. It's about Shelby right now. It's her first day of first grade. The kindergarten line, the anxious faces, the Boohoo breakfast, the moms boohooing, sweet friends knowing how I feel and being wise enough not to let on so I can make it out of the school without activating one of these land mines. Oh my sweet sweet Jeffrey. I know you would've been so brave, so big and smart, so ready. Maybe you would've wanted me to linger for a few minutes while you got settled in your new class or maybe I would have just done that for me. I am sure I would have gone home to an empty house and cried that all my babies were growing up. But, oh how I would trade that over not experiencing it at all; over the wondering. I made it almost to the gas station before the first tear escaped and rolled down my cheek and contained the rest until I got to the cemetery. There's a baby to be fed, and a house to be cleaned, supper to fix and exciting first day stories to be told. But, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how much I love you, how desperately I miss you and to allow myself to imagine how it would be if you were here. The LORD gave and the LORD hath taken away: Blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21 You would think sometimes that would be hard to hear, harder to accept. And sometimes, just for a second, my rebellious selfish self will scoff and feel self pity. But then those sweet words of truth take root, gently humble me and remind me that the Lord is in control, that He is always good, and that you are there with Him. And that is so much better than first days of kindergarten. One day closer, sweet boy.