He Started 3rd Grade This Week . . .

I remember so vividly doing the math when we were expecting Will and realizing our youngest son would be in third grade the year our oldest son was a senior in high school.

Hmmmm . . . I thought – okay then?!? This could be interesting.

It seemed so very strange at first. A 9 year age difference seemed vast. The 9 year gap between the McFarland sons worried me in the beginning.

I wondered if the McFarland brothers would be close. If they would even like one another. If they would have anything in common at all other than their parents and our last name.

And yes – they are close-ish.   (Seriously – I live in the real world and don’t expect these two dudes to be tiptoeing through the tulips together!) They do kinda-sorta like one another most days. And they have a fair bit in common. This is all so much more than I could have ever hoped for in those months while we waited for Will to be born.

I also wondered what it would be like to be almost 50 (really old) and have a little guy in elementary school. For the record – I absolutely love it. Being a “grown-up” mom is pretty cool. I highly recommend it to anyone who asks.

But I have had to accept that I will be occasionally mistaken for Will’s grandma when visiting him at school or hanging out on the playground at the park (this has never happened with Jack). I was warned about this “whole grandparent thing” long before it actually happened. Pat Markley told me this was very likely coming my way and he was right about this and so much more (just not the Excel spreadsheets).

I am sometimes called Will’s grandma. And honestly that’s okay(-ish). I am well aware what year I was born. Even I can do the math on this one. It would be tight – but yes I could be Will’s grandma. (It would have trashed the whole college and seminary thing – but it is possible.)

But the thing is – I am William McFarland’s mom.

And this week William McFarland started 3rd grade. So I carefully wrote his name on all of his school supplies and loaded them into his backpack. I listened to him talk non-stop for 72 hours as he grew both increasingly excited and nervous about starting the new school year (adorable – but slightly exhausting)!

And I was the one who helped him tuck in his shirt on the first day of school. I packed his lunch. I double checked that he had his mask and remembered his new teacher’s name.

I took his picture and promised I would send it to his Auntie and Mimi. (William knows who the charter members of his fan club are!)

I drove Will to school for his first day of 3rd grade and reminded him how much he was loved (probably more than he needed – but I erred on the side of too much rather than too little).

I dropped the littlest McFarland off for his first day of 3rd grade and I smiled.

Will McFarland started 3rd grade this week.

And the thing is – I am William McFarland’s mom. I get to be Will’s mom! I am so very blessed to be William’s mom. I am honored to share in this journey to adulthood our littlest guy is taking.

I get to share in his life.

I get to watch and listen and shepherd and guide and help and pray and laugh and support and likely pull out my hair (along with Jason). I get to love this delightful blessing from our Lord.

William McFarland started 3rd grade this week.

Who in your life is a blessing? Who in your life is a surprise? Who delights you? For whom do you give thanks?

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ –

Pastor Kerri



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