|Next week 59 little children will line up to start St. John’s Preschool’s new school year. Many have never been in any preschool program before or even been separated from their parents. There may be tears, some from the children and some from the parents. When I was raising my own little ones, I never really could appreciate it when a well-meaning older person shared the words of wisdom that I would miss the days when my children were young because if you blink, they grow much too soon.
The truth is few of us would admit to missing the day to day of raising little ones. The struggles with bedtime, mealtime, and dressing them for the day were challenging and mentally and physically exhausting. But the phrase “the days are long, but the years are short” comes to mind. It is those mundane tasks and experiences that make an impact on our children and will be long remembered even if we were not aware of them being very meaningful or memorable at the time.
I recently had a birthday and the one thing my younger daughter knows that I love are words of affirmation. She wrote me a long letter of things that she cherishes from her childhood that seemed like just simple tasks like how comforting it was when I would brush out her hair at night. I would sing to her, and she felt safe and relaxed so she could sleep well. I wasn’t a particularly great singer but one of her favorites was the song “Baby Mine” from the movie Dumbo. “Baby mine, don’t you cry. Baby mine, dry your eyes. Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine.” The soundtrack of my children’s childhood consisted of the greatest music from the 1960’s and 1970’s, otherwise known as “my day.” When my girls come home for a visit, they play the piano and sing the songs that I shared with them when they were younger. They remember how we would drive home from school and sing at the top of our lungs and the stress of their day at school would melt away.
We should never underestimate the impact our words and actions have on our children or others in our lives. A simple song, words to uplift and help another with what they may be feeling are like medicine to the heart and soul. Psalm 95 tells us, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song”. Let your hearts sing loud and fill your homes with joy. These are the moments we and our children will always remember. Please pray for our school year ahead, that many precious memories will be made, and we will make a joyful noise daily in our preschool!