I just put my firstborn on the bus to middle school. When the heck did this happen? How did my baby become a pre-teen? And how come it never gets easier sending them off out into the world?
I think it hits me harder this time of year, because my daughter's birthday also happens to coincide with back-to-school time and I am reminded that time is just flying by. She is getting older. I'm getting older. Nothing stays the same.
Six years ago, I dropped my daugher off at Kindergarten and went home and wrote about it. For the first five years of my daughter's life, I had committed myself full-time motherhood, and I was clearly in need of a creative outlet. And we were obviously both ready to spread our wings a little and leave the confines of the home. Once I wrote that essay, the words started pouring out of me, and I began writing in earnest. And I continued to write, and write, and write, and write.
I'm sure someday I'll be writing about my daughter's first day of college. Writing is what will help get me through that enormous separation. If we're smart, we let go of them a little at a time so as not to be completely shocked when they finally leave us for good.
As I said when my daughter was only four going on five, "I realize that I'm merely [my children's] guide, not their partner, on life's journey ... And that is the bittersweet truth about motherhood: I will always be my children's mother, but my children will not be my babies forever."