Last week was crazier than a hen house with a fox trapped inside!!
With both girls experiencing big leaps for the upcoming school year, Miss Emma Bean moving to the middle school and Miss Sofia moving on to high school, it was a mixture of sheer panic, elation, and dread. It was exhausting.
Fortunately the panic and dread subsided significantly after the girls went to their respective school open houses. -whew-
Once locker combinations were practiced and perfected - I hope! - and they walked through their new class schedules, they were ready to tackle the new year with a little more confidence. Oh thank goodness!!
Oh yes, they were ready for any challenge the new school year was going to dish out. Well, they were ready for the rest of that afternoon anyway.
The moves to middle school and high school felt huge. It's been a little daunting. I'm keenly aware that there are just a few short years remaining before Miss Sofia will be heading off to college and how much letting go I will have to do in those few short years. I'm also keenly aware of how quickly Miss Emma Bean is following right behind her sister. -sigh-
The girls have also begun to acknowledge this depleting time. They have begun to ask questions like, "Will you miss us when we move away? Do you wish we would stay with you forever? Does it make you sad that we will grow up and leave?"
I reassure them that I am very excited for them! There are so many wonderful things they are going to get to experience! I tell them how proud I am of the amazing young women they've become. It's a joy to watch them grow. And I tell them that I will be here for them as long as I live. I also tell them that just because they grow up and move into their own lives and have their own families does not mean that we won't spend time together. I will always delight in spending time with them! And that is the truth.
However, moms have a little more truth that they don't necessarily share with their children. A truth that they mostly share just amongst themselves. Am I right?
The truth that while we rejoice at each new step of growth our babies make, we suffer a little too. We suffer the pain of learning to let go.
The truth that while we cheer them on and want them to learn to be self sufficient, we also want to continue to take care of them. We want to be needed by them.
The truth that while we want them to move on into their own lives and have bright futures, we don't want them to go. We want them to stay!!
The truth that one day when they are grown, when they are ready to venture out on their own, we will encourage them by saying, "You can do this!!" even though we know it will leave a little empty place inside us.
Ah yes, the truth is that raising our children to be strong adults is rewarding and painful all at the same time, and this is why a mom's joyful laughter often comes with a few tears.
But for right now it's just the first day of middle school and high school.
We'll take it one day at a time, we'll hold tightly to the joy of watching them grow, and we'll let it give us the strength to let them go.