First Days

From Tuesday: Today was the first day of school. Third grade. New school. Today was the first day of school that I cried. I've done this three times before. I've never been super emotional over every milestone. But this one felt big. This one shot right through my heart.

It wasn't just that my baby was starting at a new school, one that we couldn't walk him into, but just drop him off at the front door and hope for the best. It wasn't just that he had the brightest, bravest attitude this morning when earlier this summer he didn't want to attend a new school. It wasn't just that I was a worried mama since he was too nervous to eat breakfast before his big day. It was that coupled with all of the hard work and hard choices that led to this exact morning.

I pulled into that parking lot with my husband by my side and my three boys in the back. Every choice we've made, good and bad, has led us here. Choosing each other and marrying young. Starting a family when we were still babies ourselves. Moving to a better school district before Noah started Kindergarten so he had the best shot at the education he deserves. Working full-time from the day he was born to be able to afford these choices, this life. It all hit me at once: he's here because we made it happen.

His new school will be a better fit for him and allow him to grow leaps and bounds. I'm extremely grateful that we even have the opportunity for our kids to attend such great public schools. So grateful I couldn't help but cry earlier today. Because no matter how hard it was, or how many times I wanted to throw in the towel, or when I thought I had failed in irreparable ways, all of that only served to create one hell of a strong foundation for our family. We're still learning and growing so we often forget to celebrate how far we've come.

I'm so proud of you baby boy. I am so blessed to help guide your soul in this life and I can't wait to see what an upstanding young man you become.
[Noah @ age two. TEAR!]

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