Today was a rite of passage in our household. My oldest son proudly donned his backpack and climbed up into the yellow school bus while his younger brother and I stood on the sidewalk and waved. I held back tears as I drove my younger son to daycare. His first day without his big brother around. Last night at bedtime, he told me he felt sad about the change. And I felt sad for him. And hopeful for both of them. And a little sad for myself.
Every parent must have this day when their baby isn't a baby anymore, and they hop on the bus, proverbial or otherwise, and rip a tiny stitch in the fabric holding your little world together. We raise them with the hope that one day they will be strong, independent adults who can hold their own in the world. But it doesn't make that first tear any less painful.
In the end, both boys came home cheerful and happy, excited to tell me about their day, exhausted and ready for bed. My heart rate evened and I smiled and we skipped karate and had ice cream before dinner. Oh little men, I don't want you to grow up, I wish that you could be my boys forever. But you can't, and I am so tremendously proud of the ways you are growing into your own. Being a mama is worth all the heartache for the capacity it creates to love unconditionally.
Happy first day of school.