Was everyone with a child between the ages of 5 and 14 posting pictures on Facebook of their clean and pressed children in new clothes, new sneakers and new backpacks standing on their front porch ready to head out for the first day of school? It sure seemed like it. Most kids are smiling (big grins and happy faces), but a few look as if they are on their way to a root canal or the electric chair. These sad, where-did-my-summer-vacation-go kids have a grim, stoic, “those who are about to die salute you” type of expressions.
Of course, the person with the biggest smile might be the one on the other side of the camera– the mom or dad who has spent the last ten weeks making peanut butter sandwiches, hearing how boring their child’s day is and wondering how a house that was perfectly clean the night before could now pass for the featured home in the next episode of Hoarders.
We didn’t take pictures on the first day of school when I was a kid (maybe some moms did– mine didn’t). We didn’t have backpacks in those days either– you just carried your books, papers, pens, pencils, rulers, slide rule (If you have to ask– you’re too young), protractors and lunch (Let the record show, my lunch was not in the Spiderman lunchbox I begged for, but rather my PB & J was housed in a dull brown paper sack. I still contend my tummy troubles to this day are the result of not having a superhero protect my lunch as a boy). I usually got a new pair of tennis shoes (not the Converse All Stars that I wanted, but the K-Mart knock off version. A fact that explains my slow racing times in the forty yard dash at the annual Marquette Elementary Field Day.) and one pair of two-sizes-too-big Sears and Roebuck Toughskin jeans (The size discrepancy allowed me to “grow into them” or so I was told. Never mind the fact, that I was a small child and usually didn’t “grow into them” until two grades had passed.). All this to say, if my mom did take a picture of the first day of school you’d see a kid with one hand holding onto his many school supplies, one hand holding on to his pants that were about to fall down, one hand holding onto his brown paper sacked lunch (I know that’s three hands) and wearing dorky K-Mart tennis shoes that would make even a three handed boy wish for a fourth hand to cover his face. I’m glad we didn’t take pictures back then.
The first day of school has certainly changed since I attended the Marquette Elementary School.
But this hasn’t changed: Our kids still need us to pray for them as they embark on a new school year.
Pray for your child or grandchild or neighbor’s child.
Pray for that child’s teacher.
Pray for the principal.
Pray for the para-professionals who are helping your student.
Pray for the school office staff and school janitors.
Pray for the school nurse.
Pray for the other children in the school.
Pray for those boys and girls who might feel the need to bully other children.
Pray for those children who are coming to school from troubled homes or are hungry or sick.
Pray for those children that excel in academic settings.
Pray for those students that don’t.
Pray for the coaches, music teachers, and art teachers.
Pray for the bus driver.
Pray for the crossing guards.
Pray for the lunch room workers.
Pray for the hall monitors.
Did I miss anyone? Pray for all those who are involved in any way in educating our children.
Pray for those that are homeschooled and those that are taught in alternative locations too.
Pray for all those who are beginning this school year– that God might bless them, keep them and shine his light upon them. It’s a new school year. Let’s pray it’s a good year (even if the your kid has to navigate throughout the year without the benefit of Converse All-Stars or a Spiderman lunchbox).