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The BACK TO SCHOOL word of the day is GRACE - Lisa Tyson

It seems like there are two types of “Back to School Moms.” The first type of mom is the one who was ready for school to start two hours after it ended. Sounds of “he touched me”, “I want a snack”, and “I’m SOOOOO bored” make her wonder if she is going to lose her mind sooner rather than later. The other type of mom is the one who would be happy to have an endless summer with her kids going to the pool, the park, the zoo, the library, the beach, the mountains….! That’s not me. The first one is not me either. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my babies home! But by August, we are all ready for a routine whether we know it or not. The lazy carefree days of summer were fun while they lasted but it’s time to start and end the day at a reasonable hour and fill the time in between with a little more productivity. 

It’s so easy, as moms, to get caught up in the craziness of our own “Back to School” chaos. School clothes shopping is not for the faint of heart. School supply lists can be overwhelming because there is always one elusive item that we cannot find anywhere. We become our children’s own personal Uber driver as we take them from school to practice and back home again. The washing machine is so very tired—it runs all the time. We are left with the seemingly impossible task of keeping football pants white and wondering who thought white was a good color for football pants anyway?? Our cars become closets housing backpacks, notebooks, helmets, pom poms, and papers. So.many.papers. 

By the end of the first couple of weeks, I have signed so many papers and I have no idea what I have signed. I got tired of reading after the first 27 and I begin to worry that one of the papers said that I was going to be the “copier mom” who makes all the copies for the teachers or something equally nightmarish. Homework comes home and we realize math isn’t math anymore. Now it is a whole “thing” that is definitely NOT math. Don’t even get me started on the All About Me life sized poster complete with actual printed pictures due at the end of the week.

Then, there are the other MOTHERS, all tan and perky, who Insta-perfectly documented every amazing adventure, activity, and vacation wanting to know what exotic islands we visited during the summer break.  Gotta love back to school….

Those first days back to school are crazy! So lets make them a little less crazy and make the word of the day(s) GRACE. Grace for the crying mom who is taking her baby to school or the first time. Grace for the kids starting new schools in new towns with new people. Grace for the teachers who are doing their best to get our kids off to a great start. Grace for the mom who is going home to an empty house for the first time. Grace for the ones who cannot figure out the carpool line.  Grace for the working moms who have jumped through hoops all summer long to balance childcare and a full time job. Grace for the single mom who literally does it all. Grace for the recently divorced/separated/widowed mom who is trying to make the first days of school as normal as possible under anything but normal circumstances. Grace for the child who hates school because its so hard to make friends. Grace for the one who and sits alone at lunch and plays alone at recess. Grace for one child with special needs.  Grace for the teenager who struggles academically who quietly dreads the moment when a teacher calls on him to answer a question in front of the class. Grace for the teacher you “didn’t want.” Grace for the bus drivers (also known as unrecognized saints) trying to get all of the kids home safely. Grace for the kids who don’t have many choices to wear. Grace for the kids who have more than enough and let everyone know. Grace for every parent/child/teacher who desperately needs this year to be different.

A new school year brings new opportunities to extend grace to others like Jesus extends to us. It matters because you never know the path God has asked someone else to walk. The word of the day(s)….GRACE.

- Lisa Tyson