Kindergarten, middle school and the end of an era

At the beginning, there is no line where you start and they begin. You are one. You share space and food and sleep. You spend your days and nights meeting their every need. You have no idea what the hell you’re doing, and you doubt every step, but you are there. 
Then come steps. And food and words. 

And you feel the little chasm between you expanding. 

Ouch- it hurts. You flinch. 

You make a note to see how you can stop this from happening again. 
You pick them out of ball pits and off of hot cement. You tickle them until your fingers cramp and recite books from memory. 
Somehow though, the chasm looks wider. But you “made every moment count”. Why is it growing so fast? 
You sign up for gymnastics and find new parks and pull them closer every night even when you are too tired for bedtime. 

But the chasm grows, still. 

They learn to ride bikes and play piano, and you both try out road trips. You hear that you must let go so they can fly, but it’s foreign. 
What does that even mean- ‘flying’? You are both happy on the ground. 
Moments rush by too fast to grab hold of, and you realize you are watching the chasm grow and grow and grow out of your control. You hold tighter with every earthquake. 
Then one day, knuckles white, you look up to see them bracing themselves to leap over the chasm, 
You cry out to warn them- don’t go!- you know how dangerous it is. 
And suddenly you realize they are airborne. 

An eternity passes, and you watch them land solidly on their feet. And, before they turn to walk on, they scan around to find you. You meet their eyes, and with all the courage you honestly didn’t know you had, you both smile a smile so full of pride and love and joy.
And you surrender. 
It’s in that moment that you realize the chasm isn’t just a place of fear and darkness, it is the place where wings are formed. 

*I cant handle that red carpet! I cry every time.
(and here is a little video of the ride to take Shea to school)

IMG_4271 from kristen barstad on Vimeo.
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