Today is the first day of school, and what a day it has been! New backpacks, new teachers, new students, new experiences, and new families. It was an exciting day! What is it that we are trying to do here, anyway? We, as parents and educators, fervently want to spark a sense of wonder in each child. Yes, wonder.

Sparking wonder in the heart of a child or teen is not difficult to do. So much of what they see is new, it is almost as if they have awe coursing through their veins. I’ve experienced many moments of seeing the wonder in the eyes of a child, a teen, an athlete, teachers, and parents. Out of all of my stories of wonder, here is one of my favorites:

Ryan and I exited the candy store – he was just a little boy, and I a young father. I grabbed a little bag of Jelly Belly beans for myself and gave Ryan his first-ever Charms Blow Pop, in cherry. Off the wrapper came – after some messy negotiation with the pesky plastic wrapper sticking to the candy – and then, the licking began.

After a considerable amount of time and tenacious effort, Ryan finally reached the end of the red cherry candy. He had discovered the surprise in the center – a core of red bubble gum! He stopped in his tracks. At first, confused, then, awestruck. With wonder in his eyes, he looked up at me and exclaimed, “Daddy! There’s gum on the inside! How did it get in there!?” We both celebrated the inconceivable combination of lollipop and gum chunk that could exist on the same stick. What a miracle!

Let’s all feast on the wonders of the world because Christ is a marvelous creator.

He created all things, and we, as mentors of your children, are given the daily chance to “wow” them with new ideas and experiences in this amazing world. New math formulas, letter sounds, colors, historical facts, foreign language vocab words, sports skills, dramatic poetry verses – the list goes on and on. G.K. Chesterton wrote, “What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world.” I wholeheartedly agree with G.K.

So, join me, as we start the year with a sense of awe and wonder. Perhaps then, your children will catch a sense of wonder from our lead. It is contagious – wonder begets wonder.

God bless all families on this first day!