About five minutes ago, I was getting you ready to get on the bus for Kindergarten. Tiny pink glasses, wide smile, your perfectly picked out outfit, you were ready. I was not.
And now, what feels like both five minutes and a lifetime later, you wear contacts with the same wide smile, standing taller than me with your perfectly picked out outfit, you are getting ready to board that bus for your final four years of school under this roof. You are ready. I am not.
No parenting book or well-meaning advice can really prepare you for this. It just feels. The puppet strings of parenthood pull us in two opposite directions at the same time, one side wanting to hold on, the other needing to let go. The letting go seems to always triumph the stronger the desire is to hold on.
Knowing that this is the first of the last chapter of you being in school and at home is what makes it bittersweet. These are the walls that have seen the skinned knees and the play dates and crayon self-portraits and glitter caught in the carpet again and again. And a refrigerator that has showcased report cards and Mother’s Day love notes and school photos with toothless grins. A hallway that has held races in footed pajamas and dancing in your mom’s high heels with first friends and now grasps school supplies for HIGH SCHOOL and you in my oversized college tee shirt, phone in hand, asking to go shopping, just like that.
And you are smart and thoughtful and kind and you make me so proud. I am so in awe of the woman you are becoming and I will always be so in love with the girl that you were. Bittersweet.
I remember ten minutes ago being in high school myself and how exciting and fleeting it all was. In so many ways, we were so lucky to grow up when we did, no phones in our hands except for a corded one that wrapped around our houses after school and practice that we shared with everyone else that we lived with. There was no social media, no instant access to the world at our fingertips. Our childhoods prepared us to be present. You would hear about your friends’ summer vacations in person, there wasn’t a constant slide show in front of us of places we dream of going one day. There was no instant visual of what everyone got for Christmas. You talked about your lives and your hopes and your plans face to face, no screen necessary. So, I need you to not compare yourself to what everyone is else is doing because that comparison will absolutely steal your joy and darling you were made for bigger things than that. Stay in your own lane. Work hard. Dream bigger. And own that beautiful smile that you have crafted for a lifetime.
And a disclaimer: I will embarrass you. I will call you out in front of your friends if you are doing something you aren’t supposed to be doing. I will pick you up from anywhere at any time so don’t hesitate to tell me when you are in any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. You will always get in less trouble for being honest so always tell the truth. I’ve got you. Always have. Always will.
Here’s to the memories of the cub that you were. And here’s to the fierce, claws out girl that will be relentless in going after all she wants in this life.
So, go get them tigress.
And please don’t be surprised when I get us matching footed pajamas for Christmas. Feel free to pin (or snap or insta story or whatever the thing is- please see above note about embarrassing you #sorrynotsorry).
I love you.
Katie has a new book out that is a collection of quotes and mic drops to embrace your inner warrior. “Girl Power” is available now on Amazon and is the perfect gift for all the warriors in your world. You can find out more details and book signing info on her instagram @katieyackleymoore. Endless thanks for reading. Xo
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.