My baby went to kindergarten this morning and I am feeling just a little bit sad today. Not wallowing in a gallon of ice cream sad. More stinging tears behind my eyes and a small lump in my throat kind of sad. It is the kind of sad that one only arrives at from a place of gratitude. My kids do not yet fully understand “happy sad”. They cringe and watch me closely as I tear up over a good You-Tube video, Pixar movie or soap commercial. Then when they witness the tears, they announce it to the room, “Yep, Mom is crying again!”
My little guy is ready for this new phase. As the youngest of four, he has waited to step up onto that big yellow school bus for years. He managed it this morning without even a look back. I on the other hand was a bit surprised by how strange it felt to be walking back home from the bus stop without company.
On that walk, I thought back to how he came into the world- in a hurry, premature and fighting for his life. I remember how I prayed back then that he would simply survive- no worries for what that looked like. And here he is today, healthy and strong, smart and funny, heading off into the big, wide world. When I pause to ponder this, gratitude and wonder at how it all happened overwhelms me a bit. Really, it is like that for each of my kids. I have a hard time comprehending how we got from there to here. I am just so happy that we have.
You blink and one version of your life evaporates before your eyes. It is funny how many people ahead tell you this and yet you can only comprehend it by looking backwards. Suddenly, the way things were is no longer. And still, just like that bright yellow school bus, new adventures are coming around the bend for all of us.
For all children back at school today, I send love and luck. To all teachers back at school today, I send deep gratitude. To all parents, especially the Mamas who walked away from the bus with their baby on board today, I send special hugs. Bittersweet, “happy-sad” days deserve a hug.