For years, I've looked forward to the day when the three of you would be in school. Allowing me seven GLORIOUS hours to myself, five days a week. I have gathered a list in my head of the things I would accomplish, the dreams I would pursue, and the housework that I would get done, while you were being educated...by someone other than me.
Don't get me wrong...I love you guys to bits! But, I looked forward to a little time for myself. Moms need that. We're better moms when we have it.
So, today, as another school year begins, Jack's first, I was surprised to find a lump in my throat. Part of me wanted to rush back to you, each of you, and hug you one last time. Give you one last word of encouragement. Stay just a little bit longer.
That part of me would love to keep you under my wing forever. Sheltering you, guiding you, protecting you.
But, that's not my job.
My job is to teach you to seek and create your own personal shelter. My job is to teach you to navigate through life's twists and turns unaided. My job is to teach you to pick yourself up when you're down, stand up for yourself when you're right, and back down when you are wrong, and to learn the difference between the two. My job is to teach you to protect yourself. Most importantly, my job is to teach you that you can find everything you need, within yourself.
Avery, I watched you walk in, head held high, shoulders back, without looking back. I didn't look back either. You are a strong one...I don't worry about you.
Lily, you answered your teacher's questions loudly, and clearly, with a newfound confidence. I couldn't be prouder.
And Jack. You were timid, and quiet. Yet, you put on your brave face, as you looked to us for one last reassuring glance from mom and dad. I know you'll do fine.
We still have a long way to go, but, today marked the beginning of a chapter in our lives, when I have to learn to trust myself, as a mother, and loosen my grip just a little bit more, as you take these steps toward your independence.
And kids...while I may not always be right there, holding your hand, please know that I am always close by. ALWAYS!