School Goes to Heaven

One of the delights of these last two years has been picking Ari up after school. All the early grades, pre-K through first grade gather at the little gym in Myrtle Crest. Waiting parents gather outside the doors in a fanned-out crowd. The kids fly out one or two at a time.

Such joy! Kids crash into the arms of dads, bury their smiling faces in their mom’s laps. Unembarrassed, they will let out a loud, “Daddy!” or “Mommy”. The irrepressible Ari still yells, “Pa!” when he sees me.

Parents here in Myrtle Point are a motley crew waiting at the door. Some of the dads have come straight from work and smell like wood and chainsaws. No doubt many families have some dysfunction, some addiction. But never mind, the kids are out and in the arms of those who love them.

I know this joy in seeing Mom and Dad will fade. In later grades, it may be replaced with nods or grunts as teens glance up from their phones, but there is something instructive in how natural and free love comes to these little rockets flying out of the gym. Why should our pride or fear of what others think keep us from loving freely and loudly? We are made to love and be loved. Not much else matters.

Love is probably the main lesson in this school called life. The scene at the school has made me wonder if this is like heaven. I wonder if Mom and Dad are waiting at the door and a perfect Father is waiting to catch us and hold us. I can hardly wait until school is out.

About Mark

I live in Myrtle Point, Oregon with my wife Teckla and am the father of four boys. Currently I teach writing and literature at Southwest Oregon Community College. I am a graduate of Myrtle Point High School, Northwest Nazarene College, and have a Masters in English from Washington State University.
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