Shannon Dittemore



Today is the last day of kindergarten.

Justus, my five-year-old, is incredibly nostalgic for such a young soul. We had an illuminating conversation on the way to school this morning.

“Can you believe it, Justus?”


“You made it! You’re done with kindergarten now!”

A grin spreads like taffy across his gorgeous face. “I remember my first day.”

“Me too,” I say, thinking back. So many new kids to befriend. New teachers. New rules. Name-tags and desks. An alphabet that snaked around the room. A carpet covered with letters and numbers. “You know, God was with you then. And He’s with you now, on your last day. How cool is that?”

“I’m blessed,” he says, wisely.

Tears blur my eyes. “Yes, baby. Yes, you are.”

“Know what it reminds me of?”

“What?” I ask.

He doesn’t answer. Instead, my little man begins a song, his blue eyes sparkling in the sunlight.

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” he sings.

I join in. Jaz, my one-year-old, even tries to help.

“When I feel afraid and think I’ve lost my way.
Still, You’re there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear as long as You are near;
Please be near me to the end.

I will not forget Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus be my guide and hold me to Your side,
And I will love you to the end.”

We sang this old Amy Grant song (which he believes originated with Jr. Asparagus) until his sneakers hit the school-yard pavement. Then, he threw his backpack on, blew me a kiss, and ran to the playground.

And me? I prayed.

Thank You, Jesus, for my little man. Thank You for blessing me with him. For keeping him safe. For being right beside him when I couldn’t be. Thank you for the friends he’s made this year. For the lessons he’s learned. For a wonderful teacher. Thank You for holding him and guiding him. Thank You for his child-like faith and the relationship You’ve begun with him. And for my baby girl, I also pray. That my children will always know the safety of Your guiding hand. Every day, for the rest of their lives. That when things are hard, when they travel through valleys and dry places, I pray they would know Your ever-sustaining grace. And when they walk roads they don’t understand, let them remember this song. Let them seek You in both the darkness and the light. For your Word promises that You will be found if they seek You with their whole hearts. And, I pray, dear, sweet Jesus, that my children will love you–truly love you–to the end.



  • Comment by Lacey — June 11, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    This is such a wonderful entry! He is growing up so fast! For such a young one, he is wise beyond his years. I’m thankful that he is so blessed and that God is with him always! So proud of your little man!

  • Comment by Lori Stanley Roeleveld — June 11, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

    Awwwww! Makes me miss my baby who just tromped his 6’2″ muddy soled self through my house and wondered why I was so bothered by a few tracks! (But, he’s outside doing work on the yard, so it’s OK). 🙂

  • Comment by Karen Szakacs — June 11, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    Shannon….you are a gifted writer and a very wonderful mother! It was a pleasure to have Justus in our classroom. He challenged me to be the best teacher I can possibly be and I loved every minute of my time spent in our classroom. When you get a published manuscript, please let me know. I would love to read your work. Take care, God bless you and your family, and thank you for the trust you put in me this year.

  • Comment by Karen Luke — June 11, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

    That’s my Boy… I love him so… And I’m so thankful he loves the Lord and that he and his sister have a wonderful Mom and Dad to guide them in the ways of the Lord. Can’t wait ’til Jaz is in my class. lol.

  • Comment by Debbie MacDonald — June 11, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

    Shannon, may each of your child’s years of school be so magical. And, may Justus continue his insights into life. He is so very lucky to have a family that envelopes him with love! Thank you for sharing your loving thoughts with Karen on this, the final day of his kindergarten year! Best of luck to you in the years to come.

  • Comment by Karen Szakacs — June 22, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    Hope your summer is going well. Hi to Justus!!!!! I tried to read Celestial Eyes and could not get it to come up….but am very interested in reading it. Thoughts?

  • Comment by Shan — June 23, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    I have no idea why it’s not working for you. I emailed you the first chapter! 🙂 I also sent you a question about the Three Piggy Opera. My mom was curious about the name of the very last song the kids sang–the one that wasn’t part of the show. We’re trying to find it. 🙂

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