I was the first one in line, and as fidgety as the preschoolers who were about to be released to waiting parents, grandparents and other guardians. I had remembered my ID, just in case, but by now our faces were familiar enough around the little brick building that I doubted I would need it. I grinned at Scott. I couldn’t wait to see our grandson Mason and hear how his first day back at preschool had gone. I could already hear the animation, the words speeding like Pinewood Derby cars down a track until they eventually ran out of steam and he took a breath. “I’m so happy you’re here, Grandma!” he would say in a voice that melts my heart every time.
Only it didn’t go down like that.
Mason strutted outside the classroom as soon as his teacher recognized our faces and called his name, his Spider-man backpack worn proudly over the hunter green fleece vest from his buddy Charlie. His clutched several pages of drawings, with his name written in priceless preschool handwriting, letters slightly askew, the o and the s in the wrong order. My chest felt a familiar squeeze at the haunting paradox – precious child appearing so grown up yet very much sweet baby boy to me.
I waited for those words, the words of joy and happiness he spoke whenever he saw us.
Mason took one look at his grandfather and me, and burst into tears.
I was stunned. Ready to burst into tears myself.
“I wanted mommy to pick me up,” he sobbed, coming to a standstill.
An impatient parent behind us bounced from one foot to the other, so we quickly scooted our weeping preschooler off to the side. We explained that his mom was still taking care of another little boy, a friend of his, and rather than try to wrestle three toddlers – her own two plus the additional one – into the car to come pick him up, we were going to take him home to her.
“But, but, I wanted mommy!” he swiped at the tears. His voice quivered. I tried to console him but he was having none of it. Still, he consented to take my hand as we walked across the parking lot to our Outback. Even though we weren’t what he wanted at the moment, he knew we were his people and he was safe with us. I gave his warm little hand a gentle squeeze.
After we buckled him into his car seat, Mason’s emotions didn’t wane. He really didn’t want us to ask him any questions about his day. He just wanted to go home.
This was totally out of character. typically by now he would be asking for a sleepover. I texted my daughter to see what was going on.
Uh Sorry. She told me. I told him I was picking him up. And he needs to know the details of what’s going on or he freaks out. Sorry!!
At nearly 5 years old, Mason’s personality is becoming more crystallized. He’s definitely a details little guy. He is perfectly fine with almost anything as long as he knows what the plan is. But change things up without telling him and, well, he just might burst into tears.
Uh, that might be in the genes.
His grandmother also like things to go according to plan.
MY plan, if truth be known.
And in this season of life, I feel like nothing is going the way I had planned and nobody bothered to let me know about the upcoming changes.
Like, I open the door and the landscape has changed. I’m not greeted by what I expected.
There are days I feel like bursting into tears. Or throwing a temper tantrum.Or burrowing under my comforter and just staying there.
But those are momentary responses.
‘Cause then I remember Who is holding my hand. And it’s all good.
In fact, when I think about it, I feel the anticipation of something new. Something better. I’m in a good place. And my tears are turned into laughter.
A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Grateful for this wonderful life,
Marie with a 🙂
Despite traumatically changed plans, Mason lived happily ever after, surrounded by loved ones.