If I have the perfect chalkboard sign and cutest back to school pictures, but have not love, I am just another crafty mom.
If I pack a bento box full of vegetables and artisanally crafted sandwiches, but do not have love, I am just a mom with a little too much time on my hands.
If I buy all of the right clothes and the shoes to match, and if I allow my middle schooler to explore all of the terrible trends, but do not have love, I am just a mom who wonders how in the world Crocs are still a thing.
If I give all of the best advice and teach my kids all the right things, but do not have love, I am like Charlie Brown’s teacher, “Wah, wah, wah, wah…”
Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not demand perfect grades, it does not blame teachers, it is not prouder of the valedictorian than the child with learning challenges. It does not dishonor peers with difficult home lives, it does not live out unfulfilled dreams through a child, it does not cheat to get ahead, it does not compare to others. Love does not delight in other kids’ failures but rejoices with their successes.
It always protects the vulnerable, always trusts your gut, always hopes kids will live with integrity, always perseveres through difficulty.
Love never fails. Where there are Friday night lights, they will throw a final touchdown. Where there are band competitions, they will drum their last beat. Where there are report cards, they will never really matter. Where there is calculus, they will never use it again.
For we do our best and hope for greatness, but when the graduation cap is thrown, it will all mostly disappear. Love will always remain.