It was the Friday before school began and my oldest walked up to me and threw his lanky arms around my waist. He held me tight and angled his head upward, the top of his head nearing my chin, and told me that he doesn’t want to let go. We clumsily walked together — me in the lead, him following backward the best he could — and after a few steps we had to separate to walk alone, rather than tumble down entangled together. How I enjoyed his embrace and how torn I was in that split-second decision to let go; a fleeting moment between us that began our return to the school year.

As I write this, I reflect on the days of transition from that night a week ago. My babies are officially all schoolchildren and while I had no doubt they would flourish in returning to school and my youngest in beginning her first day of kindergarten, I was unsure how I would react.

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