Praying Them into High School

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"Praying their way into high school" by Tiffany Walsh (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: By Daniel Lin (2005), Flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0

I am approaching this summer with quite a bit of trepidation, as it is one filled with big transitions for our family. My kids, although 5 years apart in age, have been at the same school for the past three years, owing to it being a Catholic school encompassing kindergarten through eighth grade. I have treasured our time at this school, seeing both kids grow, attend Mass and other activities together, and especially seeing my son blossom socially and emotionally this past year as he draws nearer to young adulthood. His eighth-grade graduation is coming up in just a few weeks, and he’s all set to head to a local Catholic high school in the fall.

"Praying their way into high school" by Tiffany Walsh (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: By Luciela Ribeiro (2008), Flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0

High school. Even though one obviously knows that eventually their children will get to be this age, it is surreal that the day is nearly here. I am extremely emotional about the two of them not being at the same school anymore, and about Henry moving onto the next stage of his life. He’s very excited about it, about being with his friends and about all of the educational and athletic opportunities that this school offers, and I couldn’t be happier for him.

He’s thirteen now, and growing and changing on what seems like a weekly basis. This is an excellent step for him, and we’re hoping that he will thrive at this school. At the same time, though, I want to cry every time I think about it. I’m worried about him getting adjusted to the larger social environment, and doing well amidst the increased academic load. He’s going to have work/study hours after school, and I hope that he’s able to balance everything. I just … worry. I think that is pretty normal for all moms!

I remember dropping him off on his first day at a new daycare when he was two years old. Change was always very hard for him, and he was crying when we left. I remember calling to check on him that day. He was fine, as I knew he would be, but you know, I WORRIED. I worried every day, despite him being very happy for the remainder of his time there. And it’s the exact same situation now, to my mind. He won’t cry when we drop him off on his first day of high school, but seeing his nervous face will evoke the exact same emotions in me. In fact, it is right now as I write this! Worry. Anxiety. Tears.

I’ve prayed for Henry quite a lot this past school year, much more so than I ever have, because he has been on my mind so much. We prayed several novenas for our discernment about which high school he would attend, I’ve prayed for him nearly daily about all of the new milestones he’s coming to in his eighth-grade year, and about his health and happiness in the coming academic year. It’s been a time of focused prayer, even when I have felt spiritually dry.

Next year, I’m anticipating that this effort will only double. Paving the way with prayer will be a solace for me, and I’m hoping a light onto his path. The patron saint of his new school is St. John Baptist de LaSalle, and I’m also planning to call on St. John Bosco and St. Thomas Aquinas!

"Praying their way into high school" by Tiffany Walsh (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: By Jack Pease (2014), Flickr.com, CC0/PD

Have you prayed the way for your kids as they go through changes, transitions and school shifts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


Copyright 2019 Tiffany Walsh

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About Author

Tiffany is a wife and mother to two precious children, a native Western New Yorker, and an academic librarian. She is a cradle Catholic who rekindled her childhood faith as a graduate student in New York City via her love of books, and is the author of "Exploring the Catholic Classics" published by Gracewatch Media in 2018. She enjoys using humor in her writing, and blogs about faith, books, and everything in-between over at lifeofacatholiclibrarian.com.

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