From Backpacks to Packed Bags

It’s not living if you don’t reach for the sky.
I’ll have tears as you take off , but I’ll cheer as you fly!

It’s that time of year. When mamas everywhere are a little more damp eyed than usual. When a quiet house is just a little too loud. When first-day-of-school pictures scream at you that kids are growing up too fast. When you stand by the front door anxiously awaiting the arrival of kids … especially on the first day of kindergarten, or 1st grade, or Middle School, or High School.
Did they have a friend in their class? at lunch? in PE/recess?
Was the teacher nice? Homework on the first day?!?

As a mom of four, I remember those teary moments of prayer times in a circle on the first day of school, my feelings as a mama sending the “new kids” to their school in a new city and state and culture, first-year drivers, my oldest being a Freshman, tryouts for school sports’ teams …
Yes, tears and fears. Smiles and sighs. Excitement and anxiety. Holding hands and letting go.

I am feeling compassion for those mamas out there at this season of life. Some sending their oldest to school for the first time. Some sending their last one off for the first time. Some sending there baby to school for their Senior year. So many emotions and memories and prayers.
But I am also feeling thankful. I am thankful because, although I remember the times of send-offs, I also know that every season of my children’s lives brought new and wonderful experiences. Well, except middle school years. I could honestly do without those altogether. 🙂 Looking back through old school photos brings fun memories of missing teeth, corny glasses, and odd hairdos and outfits on days we forgot it was picture day. OK, sometimes we knew it was picture day and that is how they dressed … intentionally!
Memories are a gift. But I don’t want to linger there. Kids growing up isn’t supposed to be a punishment parents must accept and endure. It’s wonderful! The best years with my kids so far are the ones I’m having now. Becoming friends with my grown children is such a meaningful experience.

As parents, Brent and I have one more “big event” to anticipate. That moment our “baby” and only son walks across the stage and we officially begin the season of becoming empty nesters. I will surely cry. My mind will be flooded with memories. And when I’m finding pictures for his graduation video or memory book, I’ll cry. Then he’ll most likely pack his car and leave. And I’ll cry.

But I will be happy. And thankful.
Because going from backpacks to packed bags is what I actually prepared them to do.

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