That time is here. Summer is coming to an end (although it sure doesn’t feel like it outside with this 90 degree weather).
And what a summer we’ve had. Lots of play, adventure and fun.
We are now in the countdown to welcoming baby boy #3. His due date is less than 4 weeks away, but as we all know, these babies have minds of their own. So I’ve checked off most of my list and am now shifting gears to focus on this special time with the boys before our whole world changes once again.
The only true signs of fall that I’ve seen are the return of autumn blend coffee and pumpkin bagels at the coffee shop, and of course, the beginning of school.
This is our first year of entering the school world. And wow, I’m already learning a lot about my big 5-year-old, and definitely…about myself.
Below is an excerpt from an article I recently wrote for Shawn Ledington Fink’s new Abundant Mama e-course, about the good that comes from such transitions. I am happy to be a contributor for this program and if you haven’t taken Shawn’s course before, I just know you will find it to be inspiring and a wonderful compliment to your mindful mama journey. (Her early bird registration special is going on now through September 1st. To sign up, visit HERE.)
It had been a big day.
We were driving home from their cousin’s birthday party and I knew they were tired. My 2-year-old fell asleep as soon as we hit the highway. I glanced in the rearview mirror to see my 5-year-old starting to doze. He had that blank stare. Then his eyes started getting heavy. He tried to fight it. Shaking his head. Rubbing his eyes. But soon, sleep got the best of him. With his head slowly leaning to the side, he drifted to dreamland.
And that’s when a deep, true love swelled from my heart.
My eyes filled with tears.
The tears slid down my cheeks.
My 5-year-old is growing up. And at times, he looks older than his age. But when he sleeps, I always see that baby face. I remember what it was like holding him for the first time. I had a flash memory of the day when I was nursing him as a newborn. I looked down to see why he had stopped drinking milk and that’s when I saw him staring at me with the sweetest smile – as if he were making an imprint of that moment into his heart, just as it was imprinted in mine. And we both fell in love with each other all over again.
My sweet baby.
This was the phrase I continued to repeat as this deep emotion came over me in the car – all on the eve of his first day of kindergarten. This has been a day that I’ve nervously anticipated for months now. He’s never been in the care of anyone else – other than family or babysitters in our home. We’ve signed up for all kinds of classes – gymnastics, cooking, art – but my reserved, cautious and introverted boy has never let me leave his side. We considered homeschooling but after reflection and lots of searching, we found the most nurturing Montessori school that seems like a wonderful fit for his personality. The teachers are passionate about supporting the children’s individual needs and making learning fun. They simply want him to love school and to feel comfortable – which is exactly what we’d been looking for in a school.
So on that night before school started, I carried him to his bed and he slept until around 3:30 a.m., when he walked to my side of the bed and hopped in. He let out a happy sigh as I wrapped him in the blanket and he fell back asleep in my arms. We snuggled the rest of the night. That morning, we both woke around 7. He smiled and looked at me with his big, beautiful eyes. I said, “Do you remember what today is?” He said, “No.” I said, “Today is your first day of school.”
He smiled and was visibly excited. I started to go down the whole if-you-get-sad-and-miss-us-talk and he stopped me mid-sentence, “Mom, I’m not scared anymore.”
And that was that…
He hopped out of bed. Put on his school clothes (the same ones he happily wore every day the week before). Brushed his teeth. Ate his oatmeal. Grabbed his new tote, and called me to the car.
We had a beautiful talk on the way to school, just the two of us. He watched a video daddy made for him since he was out of town. And then I pulled up to his school. He spotted his assistant teacher. He smiled. As soon as she opened the door, he hopped out. He held his school tote with pride. Still smiling, he looked back at me with another one of those looks that will forever be imprinted in my heart. His eyes and smile said to me, Mom, ok, maybe this is a little scarier than I thought. I’m now kind of nervous but there’s no turning back. Look at me, mom! I’m doing it! I’m a little scared but here I go…!
And now that we are halfway through his second week of school, this little boy is blooming before our very eyes. He sets out his school clothes each night. He wakes up early each morning. His fear has transformed into excitement and curiosity about what each new day will bring. His 5-year-old world is opening up, and it is a complete JOY to watch.
These are simple moments, yet…so powerful.
His ability to face his fear of school, talking to the teacher, making new friends, leaving his mommy…have been such an inspiration for me. And now, as I prepare to give birth again, to bring a new soul into this world, to set aside my creative work for a bit while I fumble and explore this transition, I repeat my sweet baby’s phrase, “I’m not scared anymore,” and I really do feel that way in my heart.
Because when we find the courage to walk through our fear…we learn to TRUST.
And with that trust, we remember…it is safe to be ourselves.
Fear is a natural part of life. It’s up to YOU to leave your comforts and walk through to the other side. And when you do, you will discover the amazing potential living within your heart that is ready to be born into the world!
He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your Personal Reflection:
What’s holding you back? Is it time to take action and move through your fear? Transform your fear into curiosity and excitement and enjoy what’s on the other side. Find your courage, learn to TRUST and get to that place where you can say, “I’m not scared anymore.”
*Photos by my love, Chris Duh.