This past Wednesday was the first day of school for my children. My youngest son who just started middle school had been up since 4:30 a.m. He was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. His stomach hurt, he couldn’t eat breakfast and I think he checked himself in the mirror a dozen times.
I made my rounds in dropping off my children, starting with my oldest getting dropped off at the high school and then it was time to drop my youngest son off. As he got out of the van he had this terrified look on his face. I gave him a smile and told him that everything will be okay. He didn’t seem so sure about that.
As he walked away, I sat there in the van a few moments. I was remembering his first day of Kindergarten. His teacher had to pry him from my leg. Come to think of that, his teacher had to pry him from my leg for the first half of the school year.
Here he was, off to a new adventure and this time I wouldn’t need to pry him off my leg. I know that middle school seems to begin that difficult but necessary transition of our children breaking away.
After a couple of minutes my 13-year-old daughter called from the back of the van, “Would you just go? He is fine.” She shook her head and rolled her eyes, sticking her headphones back into her ears.
I laughed. One day she will understand why I lingered there, watching him go through those big doors leading to a brand new stage of life.
I am really learning how to accept and appreciate each new stage my children enter in. While I spent more time grieving these stages when my oldest began entering them, I am now seeing how much fun they are. I now see it as a privilege, not something to mourn, that my children are getting closer to becoming who they are meant to become.
Each day will get easier as I drop him off. It will all become second nature and it won’t be long before these first days are nothing but a memory. I may no longer physically linger after my children but the memories of the past will always linger in my mind.