“I am so excited mom…but I am a little nervous too.” she said while she shuffled around staring at her new chocolate boots and the chalk art on the ground.

“I know, me too.” I answered, staring at this girl of mine. “I think it’s always like that when you start something new.” I said with my you-got-this confidence voice.

Truth is- I’ve been a little more than a little nervous. My brow has stayed in the mother furrowed position.

Do you think she will be okay?

You know she has that funky way of processing…it probably means she’s brilliant or something, but that stuff never fits in school. I don’t even care if she’s brilliant or not, she’s so persistent, bossy, loving and can be so intense, and don’t forget her insane desire to do, be, make art…this kid needs to be heard, understood…seen. Awww hell, we all need that.

Do you think this was my big sign from the universe that I should homeschool? …oh God, I am not sure I can handle it.

We really should just save our pennies now for that magical middle school for girls that we can probably never afford.

…I am not even sure who I was talking to but my mind went on and on.

…and then I did the only thing I knew to do, I took her out for a girly day. A new uniform, a pixie hair cut, a big flower headband…and lots of fill-her-soul up stuff, friends, books, nature,and nail polish. Her excitement was building, she was so blissed out. So ready for the next step.

…and somewhere in the middle of all the soul filling I realized I was actually the one being taken to school. I didn’t see it but at some point she crawled out of my body and became her own person. I mean, my body doesn’t even keep her alive any more, she doesn’t have any trouble saying how she feels or asking for what she needs, and every skill that drove me crazy at age 3 turned out to be the best tricks in her bag to navigate life so far.

How did this happen? How did I get enrolled in the school of independence? What. The. What?

Ohhhh, I knew it. I know one day…

she will have a crappy teacher that may not get her

she may rock the hell out of her art show

she will figure out some boy/girl is just not for her or she may get dumped

she will have to stand up for herself or walk away

she will hate me when I tell her she can’t wear that trashy skirt

she will be wounded, and find a way to heal

she will be be brave and kind

she will stumble, make a horrible mistake and be sorry

she will put on the most perfect outfit and feel so full of every part of her beautiful body and self

she will wonder if she is enough

she will dance

she will feel alone and have to give what she needs to herself

she will drink too much and regret it…and then do it again

she will fail

she will triumph

she will love deeply, with all of her heart

…she will live her very own life.

…and there’s nothing I can do about it. …and that’s wonderful and terrifying. …and then I took a deep breath and looked around. I looked at her papa wrap his arms around her…and I looked at my friend Emily hold her Marie close…with the same look of confidence in her eyes. the same look of love.

…and every spot I looked held the same love she’ll need, the same love she knows, the love birth gave her, the love her soul has always held.

So I cursed the school under my breath knowing I have so many more classes to go to…but sat down in the love, remembering it has never left me either.

her first, totally, completely self carved pumpkin:

There is this sort of evolution to discovering you can do something yourself. I know it sounds super trivial or simple, but I feel kind of like a little girl every time it happens.

Something presents itself- usually pretty organically.
An idea pops into your mind.
If you’re me, you wonder if you indeed can do it.
You gather your tools and courage. (for some of us or for the biggies, this can take FOREVER!)
You make many, many phone calls to trusted advisers and dear friends that serve as beloved shrinks to be sure this is indeed a good idea.
You sort of fumble around in the beginning.
A tiny misstep here, a major screw up there.
You scratch your head, or wail- depending on how big the required course correction.
You feel like it may not happen or you dig in, deeper than ever.
You look at it from all the angles.
You finally realize, you were meant to do it all along. You had it, deep in your heart you know it.
You hold it up to a light.
You did it. YOU did it.
You worship it…and yourself. (maybe just for a minute or maybe for a really long time)

You bliss out…until the next something presents itself. But every time, you hold a bigger piece of yourself.

Thinking of you today, for whatever something is waiting for you discover- you are doing it.

Josiah went to the opera, before that it was the symphony, he hardly ever has that much homework and his birthday just brought him video game nirvana, a DS 3D. We wandered the park after dropping him off at the opera fieldtrip with his class…

Jack: (said with a quivering lip) Mom, when you were a girl, did you ever struggle with feeling jealous of your sisters? I don’t want to feel it, but I do.
Me: Oh Jackie-boy, I am a middle child, you have NO idea my friend!

I pulled him a little closer, he began to weep. Oh, the stories I could tell this child but mostly I am so amazed by his self awareness, it took me so much longer to even see that I was jealous in the first place. I think it was just two years ago actually, my dear boy is so far ahead of me.

Me: You know what I am wondering about right now? I think how you are feeling is really good.
Jack: Good?
Me: Yeah, maybe that little feeling of jealousy in your heart is really just a sign, a little clue that you are ready for your own adventure. Sometimes you don’t even realize that you need or want something until you see it happening to someone else. I think this is your chance to have an experience that is just yours. It feels bad now but I bet when you are doing the thing in your heart, you won’t feel so bad about Josiah. I know you love him. It’s really important that we figure this out, I know you have been talking about guitar for like forever, we should totally go this week and make some plans for your next best thing.
Jack: Thanks mom…
Me: It’s okay Jack, to feel this way…It’s kind of beautiful actually. It means something is about to happen for you, it means you care about yourself, it’s good.

….and he was still a little sad, because that moment is hard, but I think we are supposed to feel it, to know it… let it do it’s magic, even if it takes awhile…without judgement, so we can let hope creep in and grow.

So we went to dinner together and ordered fountain drinks because that is always exciting, almost as good as the opera.
“Mom, should I share this cup with the girls?” he asked. (my poor children)
“No, I think you need you your own tonight.” I said matter of factly.
“Really? Oh thank you, thank you mom!” with eyes beaming.
“It should probably be root beer too…” (the no-soda ban lifted)

…and that is all it took for the night to be big, or big enough…and yet, like Jack, I am still finding my way, everyday trying to follow my own heart, believing in the beautiful path meant just for me.