Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day of School

“Mom! I can’t find my uniform shorts and I think I missed the bus.” A sleepy Jayden stumbles towards me in the semi darkness. Repositioning Justin in my left arm, I reach for him with my right and pull him close until all three of us are comfortably settled on the couch. 

“It’s only six o'clock Jayden and your school doesn’t use school buses.” 

“Are the roads too bumpy?” 

“Yes.” (The only school buses I’ve seen in our neighborhood are abandoned and slowly disintegrating.) 

“Mommy and Justin will bring you to school, but we don’t have to leave for over an hour yet.” “A whole hour?” “Yes.” Sighing impatiently he snuggles closer and I slowly rub his back. 15 minutes later Jason is up and I make some buns for him to take to work. Since he has room on some of his flights today, Nadia, our visitor from Ontario, will be flying along. 

When they leave 30 minutes later, I get to work helping Jayden get ready for his big day. Together we eat toast for breakfast. Then I help him brush his teeth, put on his uniform and get snacks and a drink ready in his Lightning McQueen lunchbox and cup.

“What’s your teacher’s name again?” I ask him now. 

“Mrs. Ackerman.” He promptly responds. “And I’m going to be very good!” 

“That’s good!” I smile at him and ruffle his hair. We finish packing his back pack together and then Jayden runs to his bedroom. Seconds later he returns with a large glass bead. 

“Can I give this to my teacher Mom?” He asks. “Why don’t you give her one of the bracelets you made instead?” I respond. “Okay!” He smiles excitedly and slips a brightly coloured bead bracelets in the front pocket of his backpack. Justin sitting beside his big brother on the couch looks on with large blue eyes.

“Now, before we go to school there is one more thing we’re going to do.” 

“What Mom?” 

“We’re going to memorize a Bible verse and practice it 5 times every morning, and then learn a new one each week.” 

“Okay.” He nods at me soberly and I open the Bible to Psalm 107:1. 

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 

After explaining what the words mean, we slowly repeat the words together five times. The ancient words, ever new, soothe my heart. “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.

Once we’ve finished reciting we bow our heads and pray. Taking turns, we lift up this new school year and this new milestone in Jayden’s life, to God in prayer. When we’re finished we make our way outside, and Jayden proudly tells Anoud and Denise he’s finally going to school. They smile and encourage him and then after a quick picture, it’s time to go.

On the way to school we pass one of the broken down school buses. This one isn’t going anywhere any time soon!

At Quisqeya Christian School, the guards have already opened the gates and I maneuver into a makeshift parking spot. Jayden excitedly jumps out as I unbuckle Justin. Since the Kindergarten classroom is located on the upper right corner of the building we take the stairs up.

Julie White, another MAF pilot’s wife who will be working as a Teacher’s Aid this year helps Jayden hang up his backpack on his hook. 

On the door a brightly coloured display welcomes the 14 new kindergarten students. 

Inside we meet Mrs. Ackerman, who greets us and shows Jayden where to sit. I watch as he excitedly takes his spot. 

He’s been waiting forever to go to school and doesn’t show one ounce of nervousness. Still remembering crying on my first day of kindergarten 22 years ago, I'm relieved to see how confident he is.

Once he’s settled and I’ve taken a few more pictures, I bid Jayden goodbye. 

Justin quickly falls asleep on the way home, and in the uncharacteristic stillness I blink back a tear. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever; once again the familiar words bring comfort. Even in the changes that time inevitably brings, His mercy and His love endures forever!


  1. Aw I'm so excited for you Jayden!! You look so cute :) Hope your school year goes great !!

    Love Aunty Nat

  2. I remember you crying on the first day of kindergarten too! I felt bad for you and wanted to help out. I think I even asked the teacher if you could go to the bathroom because you were to shy to yourself. Wow! Time flies!

  3. Can't believe he's in school already! He's a brave little man.

    Good thing you still have Justin at home.

    Love Henry and Jenny