First Day of School

IMG_9425It’s only walking away from the school where I left my youngest child starting fifth grade so happy, he barely took time to give me a goodbye hug, that the tears threatened to come.

The sound is quiet, there are crickets, there are trees, tall trees overhead, beautiful sky, quiet neighborhood and in the distance, the fast rumble of highway traffic continues on.

This thing called parenting is one big exercise in letting go. I had no idea when I yearned to become a mother that the precious hugs, the precious holding, the love that flows so freely and fully, would deepen and deepen and deepen and yet my whole goal was to raise them to go away from me.

And now we’re getting closer. I can see in the horizon my oldest, four years away from college, started high school today. I said goodbye from inside our house and he climbed on his bike and took off on his own.

In a year and a half he’ll be driving away for me and in four years, he’ll be living somewhere else, studying what he wants to do to become an adult, to support his own family, to make his mark in the world as he should, and my job will be done.

Today I drove my little guy to his first day of fifth grade and he was eager and excited and couldn’t wait to greet his friends and so kindly and carefully said goodbye to me with love, reassuring me that he’ll always be close.

But I know, as all parents know, that may change, that probably will change, he will stay only as close as his heart will take him although I’ll live in his heart forever and we will always have that bond of love to all of them – my daughter in the middle of my older boy, my step-daughter, all of them will grow up and wave goodbye and go on their own path as they should, but the leaving, the parting, that is what is so hard for me.

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