A New Parent’s Thoughts on the First Week of School

by Heather Smith, Communications Manager

After eleven years at Heritage, this week marked something new for me: I was a mom, dropping of my preschool student for his first day of school.

It was a big shift in gears for me. Over the years, I’ve taught lower and upper elementary, high school English and drama at Heritage. For the past four years, I have enjoyed the more behind the scenes work that being the communications person offers. The school year has always brought many adventures, but being on the parent side was a novel experience altogether.

The first day of school meant sitting on the carpet with my son, listening to Mrs. Howeth read “The Kissing Hand,” and seeing all the small preschool faces that needed to hear the words she read. Being in the gym on Back to School Night, listening to Mr. Ness give announcements alongside all the elementary parents. Knowing that for hours each day he attends school, my son would be in an environment that provides him with nurturing, individualized attention, but more importantly, that would bolster his faith in Christ.

Raising children is such an incredible privilege, a true gift from God. And when it comes to choosing where they will be educated, it is an equally weighty decision. Over time, students spend thousands of hours in the classroom, listening to teachers that will help shape their worldview. Many of you may not know, but my late husband was a Heritage graduate. He tragically passed away before the birth of our son. Ever since my son was an infant, I knew he would be attending HCA, because of the community, faith, and family it provides. I am proud that he is joining the ranks of second-generation Heritage students.

Being a parent can seem like such a long journey – eighteen years feels like a lot when you look at it all at once. But, to quote a favorite author of mine, the days are long, but the years are short. In the midst of the lost shoes, crying, messy rooms, and patience-trying moments, the time speeds by and we turn around and they are grown up. We have such a finite time to influence their lives, and trusting who will educate them is a big part of that time. Choosing who speaks into your child’s life on a daily basis is no small matter. We are thankful that all of you have chosen to be part of the Heritage family. You are what make HCA great.

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