First, these are my beautiful babies:
Every Sunday, our church has a little children's sermon where the kids go to the front of the church and sit on the floor next to the pastor. It's usually a kid version of the day' grown-up sermon. When Tucker was little, his cousin Tiffany always took him. Then when Keaton got big enough to go, Tucker started taking him and Tiffany was relieved of her duty.
Only this little arrangement worked for just a short time - long enough for Tucker to decide he was too grown up to do anything Keaton was little enough to do. It's not really a big deal that Tucker doesn't want to be Keaton's escort - Keaton is more than happy to skip, jump, race, flip his way to the front of the church all by himself. However, we want Tucker to attend the children's sermon, so we turn it into a big brother responsibility thing and send him as Keaton's escort as often as we can convince him to go.
If you're a regular attendee at our church, you likely see Tucker Hickman each week, hauling his brother Keaton down to the front of the church by his elbow. Tucker marches toward his objective with focus and determination. He just needs to get Keaton to the front and seated without causing too much of a raucous. Keaton, on the other hand, is scanning the crowd, flashing his smile at his fans, offering a wave or two, and (I'm convinced) plotting to run up to the top of the steps at the front of the church and jump all the way down to the bottom. I'm quite grateful this hasn't happened yet, but I still hold my breath each week.
Today at church, they had all of the new kindergartners bring their backpacks up to the front for a blessing, so Tucker was tasked with walking all the way to the front of the church by himself. We talked about it with him several times (he does better when he knows what to expect), and I must say that Tucker handled himself like a champ. If he was nervous, he didn't let it show at all. Here's a picture of him at the front receiving his blessing:
And here is a picture of him receiving his CUMC backpack tag to remind him that even though mom and dad can't go to school with him, God can and will:
Naturally I sobbed throughout the blessing, thinking about my baby being old enough to go to kindergarten. He's really something. When we met his teacher the other night, he acted like it was no big deal - Mr. Cool. I am not worried at all about him tomorrow at school. He's nerdy like me - made for school. I love it so much I still go every day at 31 years old for goodness sakes!
We've talked to him about how important it is that he's nice to everyone. We've explained that even if the other kids are being rude or ugly to someone, he should be the example and show them the proper way to treat others. Of course, he responded to us with an annoyed "I know."
So tonight Keaton is spending the night with his Mimi and Papa so that we can walk Tucker to school and I can still get to my school on time. After all the blessings and backpacks Keaton was very proud to have his own special backpack for his overnight stay:
As we tucked Tucker (hehe - that's funny) in tonight, out of nowhere he let out a squeal. "Tomorrow!" he screeched, his eyes shining.
Yes, I'm certain I'll cry. But I think I'll shed my tears and go on about my day excited to hear about his day. I know it will be everything he hopes for and more. Happy First Day of School!