by Katherine Craddock
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.
– Ecclesiastes 3:1
I couldn’t believe time had flown so fast, but here it was, the last MOPS meeting of the spring – and, for my almost 5-year-old son Colt, Graduation Day. “I’ll miss MOPS!” he said with a frown as we drove towards that looming milestone.
“Oh, yes,” I replied cheerily, “but in the fall you won’t have to be in Mommy School anymore. You can go to Kindergarten and real school like your big sister Katie.” My thoughts flashed back to when Colt and I had dropped off Katie for her first day at Kindergarten, and we had both wondered how we would ever survive without her. It was then that we had invented “Mommy School,” which consisted of Colt going with me to run errands in the “Mommy School Bus” (our family minivan).
But had my son actually learned anything in Mommy School? I doubted it. With three little boys under the age of five, I hadn’t had time for any of the elaborate crafting sessions, field trips or lesson plans – and I was left to simmer in a Mom-Guilt Stew.
“Let’s see,” I sighed as I tried to recall the Mommy School graduation requirements. “In Mommy School, you learned to open the car door. You learned to buckle yourself in a seatbelt, put on your own clothes, AND you learned to use the potty like a big boy.” I silently shuddered at the countless pairs of poopy underpants I had dunked clean in our toilet.
“You learned how to be a hard working man,” I continued, “and a helpful man. You know your Bible stories, you help Mommy with the dishes…”
“And I can clean my room!” he piped up, “and help with my little brothers! And I can do this: A-B-C-D-E-F-G, H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P, Q-R-S-T-U-V, W-X-Y-and-Z!!!” I laughed and shook my head in wonder. Even a year ago, my son could do none of those things. But through Mommy School, he had conquered each challenge. And as I listed all the life skills my son had learned in Mommy School, I swelled with pride and wonder at his – our – my accomplishment. In the midst of the mundane chores, sleep-deprived nights and mindless errands, somehow I had taught him all those things. Me!
“When is fall?” Colt called from the back of the Mommy bus. “Is it tomorrow? Will tomorrow be fall so I can go to school?”
I pulled up to the MOPS meeting and parked the Mommy Bus one last time. Colt unbuckled his seatbelt, opened the car door, and hopped out all by himself. Yes, I thought, as I took his little hand in mine, you are ready It’s time for Graduation Day.