School Days

To my sweet girl on her first day of school:

I can’t believe today is already here. Seems like just yesterday that Daddy and I were having a conversation about possibly having another baby, and now here we are – launching that beautiful baby into a brand new season; one of learning, growing, and blossoming…but for me, it’s also one of letting go.

Daddy was thoughtful enough to capture my sobs as we left school today. All aboard the hot mess express!!!

See here’s the thing – you are my mulligan.

My do-over.

When I started this parenting gig, I was a terrified single mom and had to quickly get myself into survival mode. I handed over my six-week-old infant to a stranger and set off to make enough money to feed him. Fast forward to child number two and I was in the same situation. Six weeks of “postpartum bliss” (allowing only six weeks of maternity leave is criminal but that’s a post for another day) and I once again handed my infant child over so that I could go back to work. It was agonizing, not just because I had to leave my babies, but because I knew I would be missing out on the milestones. I likely wouldn’t be the one to see the first smile, hear the first laugh, or witness the first step. But I did what I had to do and by the grace of God, I raised two beautiful boys by myself with the help of my incredible village.

And then came you. My chance to be fully aware, fully engaged, fully present for every season of my baby’s life. You were the first child I gave birth to with no medication (something I really wanted to conquer) and the first baby I was able to nurse (we lasted TWO WHOLE YEARS!!!). I was there for your first smile, your first laugh, and Daddy and I were both there the first time you rolled over. It was my hand that you let go of when you took your first step.

You are my shadow. Where I go, you go. We are the very best of friends and I have relished every moment of every day with you these last four and a half years. I am so incredibly thankful to have savored this season of motherhood with you, my girl.

But now it’s time to give you some wings. We’ve allowed you to settle into milestones in your own timing (there was a time when we thought you’d never let anyone but Daddy and I even grace your presence, let alone hold you!) and because we let you take your time being you, we know you’re ready to dazzle the world with all that feisty pizazz. Your teacher and your classmates don’t even know how lucky they are to have you around, but they will. You will make good friends and that loyalty of yours will see to it that those friends will last a lifetime.

Baby girl, it takes a whole lot of courage to get out of Mama’s van on that first day with a world of unknown waiting to be discovered. But you did it boldly and Daddy and I are so proud.

Your face as you got out of the car was priceless. Full of joy and excitement. We won’t talk about what Mom looked like.

I love you Baby Girl.

xoxo, Mama

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