I’ve read many a back-to-school story. I’ve connected with and absorbed the numerous tales about tears, fear and a general feeling of gratitude mixed with sadness. While I can recognize the basis and biology of these feelings, I must admit, I have very few of my own. My husband, my biggest advocate and either my most or least flattering mirror constantly tells me that I’m the least romantic person he knows. As I wait for my mug or blue ribbon, I contemplate the correlation between my practical side and my non-crying-at-school-drop-off side.
The fact is, there is very little that makes me feel as accomplished in my parenting as the first day back to school. It marks the success of another season and the beginning of a new level of independence I’ve helped to foster. It signals forward motion. The alternative, the keeping of the status-quo. The pining for small while big is happening. The hesitance to acknowledge and celebrate the quick passage of time.
As a mother, these particular feelings are not a part of my daily repertoire. To the contrary, I’ve enjoyed watching them grow more individual, at first parallel and now, slowly away from their all-consuming need of me. They are not afraid to leave me. This is ok. No, this is good.
We start to let go from the moment they leave our bodies or are placed in our arms; from the moment they are ours, they still belong more to themselves.
We are just the keeper of the bees. They were built to fly. Sometimes, it stings. But for me, it’s mostly as sweet as honey.