First Day Tears

By: Rachel Rogers

Watching my babies grow up into the school-aged children they are now has been both my greatest joy and my sorrow. I’ve often wondered at the squeezing in my heart every time a new milestone is reached. These milestones are times to celebrate, but why does my heart ache and why do my tears come? Babies crawl and then run, teeth fall out and braces go on, training wheels come off and backpacks go on…this is the way it is supposed to go, so why does my heart resist? Why do I long for those chubby cheeked toddler years while simultaneously declaring I would never go back? Why do I cry on the first day of school every year?

I am not sure what first drew me to Jen Wilken’s article, “The Truth About Pain in Childbearing.” My days of giving birth have come and gone and I don’t need to read someone else’s article to remember the pain!  But I love this article. She put words to feelings and ideas my heart has had but could not express.  “As the years unfold,” Jen says, “we begin to understand that we have been introduced to the great truth of pain in childbearing, a pain we naively believed would be confined to labor and delivery, but that visits us at every transition we nurture our children toward: the measured inhale, the steady exhale, the mighty push. And separation.” Apparently, I was one of the naive!

Jen goes on to describe simply and beautifully the profound sanctification process that every mother’s heart goes through as we welcome little ones and shepherd them through life’s transitions.  If, like me, you have ever swallowed tears at what should be happy moments, like the first day of school, this article is for you.  Read it here.