Off She Goes

I realize that I have been silent in this space for quite some time. I have also practiced a great deal of silence and meditation during my time away. It wasn't a completely planned step away, but it has been a rejuvenating time. I recently heard a speaker that I greatly respect talk about the necessity of "focus." I have felt the need for more of that as I approach this space. I don't have a completely clear vision, but I am allowing myself to ponder and entertain thoughts around how I will move forward. I am sure there will be more to say about this in days ahead.

Today is a milestone in the Wilson family. I just waved goodbye to our youngest child as she headed out the door and jumped into a car that will deliver her to her first day of high school. She is going to a place different than her sister, who still has a few more weeks of summer. The emotions have been mixed - excitement, nervousness, jealousy (toward the sister with 2 more weeks), curiosity, sadness. I am talking about mom's emotions here, though I imagine and have evidence that the freshman is experiencing some of the very same things.



When my children were young, I imagined that they would make their way through our local public schools K-12. I am a huge supporter of public education and want all to have access to a safe and engaging place of learning. Yet as our children grew and individual needs and varying situations arose, I was challenged to open my heart and mind to various options. It is quite a privilege to have choice, and I am grateful for that. 

Each of our children is an individual with unique talents, gifts, challenges, and needs. Each season of our family's life has allowed for certain choices and ruled out others. My children's wishes have at times played a significant role in school decisions. At other times, they have not. It is like a giant mobile that has to balance out to meet the needs of all in our family in a "good enough" way. 

Today, I have many emotions. I am proud of my daughter who is experiencing this first day of high school. I am both sad and excited that she is growing up so very fast. I am curious about all that is ahead for her on this leg of her journey. I am nervous as she transitions and settles into this new place. I am hopeful as she takes one more step on the road of growing up. I feel all kinds of things about the shifts and changes and opportunities for me in the months and years ahead. 

I walked out of my house this morning as all of these emotions swirled within me. I ran into a neighbor family that had just dropped their oldest child off for the first day of kindergarten. I had a surreal feeling of "didn't I just do that a few years ago?" Time passes so rapidly during the eighteen or so years of a child's life in our home. Seeing these parents at the beginning of the school journey brought the emotion up from within and into my eyes. A little later in the day, I let all of the emotions flow out in tears. It was very cleansing. 

My dear friend Kim recently said to her daughter at a particularly poignant parting, "I believe in crying, and I am so grateful for good reasons to cry." I join her in this belief. 

How about you? What milestones and emotions are you experiencing these days? What good reasons do you have to cry during this time of your life? I would love to hear from you.