Black ink stains the red fabric of your first big kid backpack, marking it as yours; nestled against it is a green lunchbox and a Mario Kart water bottle. The sign for your first day of school picture is ready. It’s the Monday before you start school, and as I gather your supplies, I can’t help but think how fast the last four and a half years have flown.
We’ve counted down the sleeps until you get to make new friends, get to learn new things, and discover what makes you who you are. We’ve picked out the perfect lunch items, planned our first-day outfit, and even made sure Daddy could be there at drop off too. You are beyond excited about school. I, however, thought we had more time. I didn’t think this summer, the last summer, would go this fast.
But it did.
For the last four and a half years, it has been you and me against the world. We’ve been together, learned together, and grown together. Life allowed us to have me stay home full-time with you and, eventually, your sister. You don’t know a life where Mommy isn’t your person, your teacher. We don’t know the rhythm of school drop-off lines and teacher conferences, the dance of school pick-ups, and amazing car snacks.
And now, on Thursday? I drop my heart off in the middle of your next great adventure, and I find a new rhythm as your mommy. I have to let go of you just a little bit, and that is terrifying. I’m releasing you into a new unknown, uncharted waters, and that is scary for me because I am trusting others with a third of my heart. I want you to be the best possible version of yourself. I want you to make friends and learn all there is to learn. I want you to thrive in your classroom. A small piece of me, though, wants to keep you safe in my arms, snuggled tight as we watch Bakugan Legends.
But as much as I want you to stay home with me, and as much as I want you to stay little? I know in my mama heart that it’s time you get to fly just a little. So instead, I’ll make sure you get the biggest hug I can possibly give before we leave the house. I’ll drop you off at school, plaster a smile on my face and tell you I love you. We’ll have our matching bracelets on; that way, if you miss me, you know I’m right there (and vice versa, let’s be honest). You’ll find notes in your lunch box, and when you get picked up, your sister and I will be there.
Along the way, you’ll grow, and you’ll come into your own. You’ll realize that you are smart, you are kind, you are brave, you are safe, and you are loved, just like I tell you every single night before bed.