Getting Over the Tardies

My 5 yr old little man just started Kindergarten in Catholic school. O, how handsome and spiffy he looks in his uniform, so perfectly proper and ready for the day’s adventure.  He smiles and waves as he leaves in the wee morning hours with his Dad, who has the morning drop-off shift and I the afternoon pick-up shift.  Our little man is cool, confident and happy; it’s his mother who is a total wreck.

If only mom could really enjoy this wonderful, exciting time of his life and our life as a family.  But instead, I am determined that my son will NOT get a tardy (be marked late for school).  After all, three tardies and my little man will have detention! And tardies are marked on his report card, a permanent record. What will happen in twenty years when he interviews for a job and they check his school records and can plainly see that he was late, not once but several times.

It’s been only two weeks since school started and he has already received a tardy.  Actually, he has been late twice but they let one slide because it was my son’s birthday and his father, dressed in his very proper business suit, was literally begging and pleading that our son wouldn’t receive a tardy.

It’s very grueling five days a week corralling, chasing, hounding, nudging and nagging both my men to hurry, while having to bear the deafening shrill of that heartless clock shouting out the seconds saying: He’s going to be late. He’s going to get a TARDY!

Two weeks of school and I am exhausted, my husband anxious, and our son is receiving the wrong message about what Catholic education is and why we wanted him to have a Catholic education.

What to do?  One morning, after collapsing on the couch and feeling particularly pleased with myself that my son made it to school on time, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “You are right.  Tardies are important but not for the reason you think. And what will be on your heavenly report card about the way you handled tardies when you stand before the throne of God?

“…our sufficiency is from God, who has qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit, for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor. 3:5, 6)

Needlessly to say, not many errands were accomplished that day as I contemplated the full meaning of what the Lord said. Yes, rules and discipline are important both for our temporal and spiritual life.  But I hope in the coming weeks that the hearts of my two men will increase in pride as they witness the change in our home each morning in the way their wife and mother is learning how to handle the transition to kindergarten with a true Catholic heart and a life-giving Spirit.

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