What’s in Your Backpack?

Last spring, we started the process of preschool registration. The thought of cute little backpacks, homemade projects, and special school events got me excited – as a former teacher, this was familiar territory.  So much of parenting is navigating unfamiliar terrain and figuring things out as you go, but the classroom…this I knew.

As I was fading off to sleep that night, visions of freshly-sharpened pencils and shiny new folders dancing through my head, reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought of our boys, and of all the things that would fill their tiny backpacks. C’s bag would have the usual preschool supplies – crayons, safety scissors, a glue stick – but O’s bag, his would look entirely different. O’s daily haul would include a soft helmet, sensory chews, the Ipad he uses for communication, a glucometer, noise-reducing headphones, and emergency seizure medication.

It was in that moment, lying there in the dark, that I first feared for how his teachers might perceive him. I worried about how his classmates would receive him – our sweet, silly, resilient little guy.

And I cried.

I cried because sometimes God’s plan is simply bigger than our earthly hearts can ever begin to understand.

So what do we do in those moments when our “baggage” has us feeling uneasy – scared even?!

Have faith, Mama.  But, boy, is that easier said than done.

Maybe your family is facing the unknowns of a new school this year, or a big change in daily routine. Maybe your kiddo didn’t get the teacher they wanted, or they don’t have a good friend in their classroom. Maybe they have physical, mental, or emotional challenges that make school difficult, overwhelming, or scary.

Have faith, Mama.

To me, strong faith means knowing that we don’t have all of the answers, and striving to seek peace in that truth.

Strong faith means handing God some of the cards from our deck, and relinquishing to Him control of the deal.

Strong faith does not mean that we never question, falter, or feel frustrated. It does mean that we listen to our gut, follow our heart, and strive not to trample over the path He’s set before us.  

Strong faith? It’s life-giving.

Each of us has a different “bag” to carry. So why do we try, so often, to conform our bags and make them all the same?  Maybe it’s those pieces of “baggage” – the ones that make us different – that are the most integral to God’s plan.

What’s in your bag, Mama? Wear it proudly. Even better- let’s teach our kiddos to do the same.

Because the “baggage” that makes them different?  It’s exactly what their classroom needs.



Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  • “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9).
  • “For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Music to inspire you:

Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try:

  • Have your child write a letter to himself/herself before the first day of school. What advice would he/she give? What makes them feel most proud? What do they hope to keep sacred in their hearts this school year? What are their particular worries or concerns? Parents can also surprise their children and write letters answering these questions as well. Have it waiting for your child at breakfast on their first back-to-school morning.
  • If your child has a student in his/her classroom with special needs, help them understand more about their new friend and how to relate to him/her by checking out picture books from the library that focus on children with similar challenges.
  • If you are worried about a physical, mental, or emotional challenge that will be difficult for other students in your child’s class to understand, reach out to your child’s teacher and inquire about giving a small presentation to his/her class – read a book to help them get to know your child better, tell your child’s story so the kids get to know him/her a little better, and provide tips to classmates as to how they might best relate to and engage with your child.

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{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more. In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}