Pre-School Neurosis

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Tossing and turning in bed last night I debated with myself about whether or not packing raw carrots in Annora’s lunch will limit her social development. This morning the logical part of my brain wonders why I am obsessing over the contents of Annora’s as yet un-needed lunch box while another (we’ll call it the crazy side) wonders where I can get an aluminum-free thermos to carry hypothetical made-ahead-then-frozen- then-reheated wholesome made-from-scratch soups.

When I wonder aloud how long the elementary lunch period is for the umpteenth time Dave slowly backs away, patiently responds to with an, “I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out.” and compares my incessant, unanswerable questions to the vomiting baby ogre in Shrek the Third. He may be right.

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I cry and then laugh at myself because I said I wouldn’t cry when our kids start school. After all, I am not a mom that wishes my kids would stay at home as toddlers forever. The foaming carpet cleaner working on my rug as I type is a perfect reminder of that. I explain my wet cheeks as “passage of time tears”. I’m not sad, I’m just aware of the way time thrusts us forward and through doorways where I’d like to linger a while. I want a do-over because I think I could do these past five years better now or at least with less worry and maybe a little more grace for both of us.

A few deep breaths help me remember another life change which brought out the detail-obsessed lunatic inside of me. Five and half years ago, in my very pregnant mind, whether or not to use a pacifier seemed like a moral question. It’s not about the pacifiers or the lunch box or any other minor details. Our family is stepping in to a new season of life and like other times I try to cope with all the unknowns by burying my head in contingency plans. Another few breaths and I shake off the weight of “what ifs” and determine to step in to the school-aged years with my attention in the present, my eyes focused, albeit a little misty, holding my sweet girl’s hand because I know Jesus is holding her other one and I can trust Him.

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Do you have any advice for us as rookie kindergarten parents? How do you decide what to pack in your kids' lunch boxes? Chime in with your advice on our

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