breaking bread

Dear Rylie,

A week from today, you will officially start Kindergarten.  s c h o o l.  School with a bus and big kids and little kids and lunch time and recess and raise your hand if you hafta go to the potty.  School.

You, Child, you will love school.  You will love all the people and the routine and the jobs and the walking in lines to new exciting places like music! and gym! and art! I’m a little jealous.  It’s been a long time since I went to art wearing my dad’s old t-shirt.

I wanted to steal a second to talk to you… about talking.  Rylie Girl, you were born thinking differently.  And, God bless you, you were born SAYING things differently.  I pray this works to your advantage.  You’re headed to the Big Time now and I won’t be there to interpret for you or speak up for you or prompt you… not like now.  So, I want you to start off on firm ground.  And that has less to do with speech and everything to do with heart.

See, me and you- we’re fighters.  We have strong opinions and we are actually really decent at getting a point across.  I see this in you already, even at 5 years old, even without a voice.  Folks like you and me… well, we need to be careful.

Time was, you could hear something, not understand it or not agree with it, wait until the person was finished talking, and then say your piece.  This is rarely tolerated anymore… not among strangers, and truly- be careful with close friends.  The art, the joy, the discipline of debate and safe discussion is quickly being shelved.   Where you could once spend your life thinking out loud, learning, asking questions, and growing you must now pick a side and run to that wall without being caught or face the consequences of isolation.

*sigh*  Like you don’t have enough to worry about already.

There’s a beautiful concept in the Jewish culture that is literally as old as the sea.  Men would (and still do) spend hours and days, weeks and years debating and dreaming passionately over Scripture.  Interpreting.  Teaching.  Picking apart words.  Counting syllables.  Laying down, as it were, the Law of the land.  Conversations regularly ended with no resolution to either argument.  And they were (are) pleased by this.

These wise men… they did not agree on everything.  Sometimes, reading their commentaries, I wonder if they agreed on anything.   But here’s the kicker: after arguing for hours every day, they would pack it all up and eat dinner together.  They believe (and I agree) that you can debate with heart and still break bread together at the end of the day.  When hearts are on the same page, relationships are more important than resolutions.

Here is what I say to you:

I know, it’s kindergarten. You won’t be debating government policy or church theology in kindergarten.  I know.  But, here is where your table begins to fill up with people other than your family.  Here, you will meet people who think and speak and act differently than you, if ever so slightly.  They will pick different colors, go on different vacations, worship at different churches, pack different lunches, ride home in different cars, and dance to different music.  It starts here.

I pray you will meet others… even in Kindergarten… who will join you at your table.  People who are of the same heart but all different shades of mind.  Disagree. Debate. Yell, laugh, cry, and share- passionately.  But do not let it go so far that you cannot return to the table in the evening together.  Be prepared, if not eager, to share a supper when it is all finished.  Hold that concept close to you in everything, for it is the level ground beneath your church.

Take your seat.  Save me one next to you.  And, at the end of the day, may your table be full.

I love you.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

13 responses to “breaking bread

  • Mandi

    Your words are always so perfect! Praying for you and Rylie as you begin this new leg of the journey!

  • Rebekah

    Isn’t amazing how the heart of a momma can be filled with excitement and trepidation as our babies go off to school?! Praying that school, for both Rylie and Asa, will be everything it needs to be. Praying they both find good friends and learn how to deal with those who aren’t. And I love your visual of breaking bread with friends and those who we disagree with, cuz that — is real life. (and save a seat for me too at Rylie’s table, cuz I love that girl!!) 🙂

  • Kim Aguilar

    Beautifully expressed. And really, a good reminder for me…differences of opinion do not put up walls. Only pride can do that.

  • marcia

    Your words mimic the feelings in my heart as I pray for Rylie, Jaden, Jenny, Matt, Haley and all the kids who are starting school for the first time or again for the second, seventh or eleventh time. That this year their voices will be heard, their feelings will be understood, their snack will be traded and they will be chosen as a partner not assigned as one.
    Il pray for daily blessings on them and even more I give thanks for the open hearts surrounding them. The open hearts that say I hear you. I see you. I feel how you struggle and I am here with you. We will do this together, struggle through it together and laugh with joy together. I see your frustration and know ways to help you feel calm, feel respected. I see the special gifts you have and will help you learn to use them for His glory. And I know your mama’s heart and will work with her to help you be all you can be and will pray with your mama that we all have what we need for each day and more.

    And Kate, some days will be filled with joy and success and friends holding hands running together. While others will hold disappointments and feeling alone. But through it call these kids, our kids, will be held tightly, prayed for deepiy and loved by these specially chosen ones who teach our children while they trust ernestly in the One who leads them and holds their hands. For these I give deepest thanks for they are the ones who each year make it posslble for me to let my girl go.
    God ‘s biggest blessings on you and Riley this year, I look forward to reading about her as her table fills. And get ready to laugh for this journey will be full of laughter.

  • Shelly

    Love it – school can be both a difficult place, but also such a great learning tool as they interact and deal with all different kinds of personalities and opinions from peers to those in authority. I have such great memories of my school years, which I know isn’t always the case. But fortunately, each of my kid’s enjoy school, even with some bumps along the way, and I actually feel that joy and excitement through them as they get ready to begin again soon.

  • Chris

    This, as always, is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your letters with us.

  • MC

    Good golly, you make me cry every time. Do you have a plan for all these letters to your children? Like a beautifully published book, because, man, whatta gift you’re giving them. I hope Riley’s first week at school is awesome.

  • catherine

    “When hearts are on the same page, relationships are more important than resolutions.” Yes.

    Love your blog, Ms. K.


  • Crystal

    You, my friend are a joy to me. I love healthy discussions with beloved friends. We should have more.

  • Sunday Grant

    WOW!!!!!! Like I said on my last comment I pretty much want to be you!

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