My kids started school this week. Cue the stomach ailments and silent tears while hiding in the upstairs closet (and that was just me.) They are champions, heroes, shooting stars–courageous and brave from the moment they set foot on each of our three new school campuses. I arrived home after dropping them off on the first day, and I needed a healthy dose of Pepto Bismol. It wasn’t until they came home all in one piece at the end of the first day, that I realized how much of them I have carried with me.
Over these summer months, I gathered up every drop of anxiety, every moment of fear, every what-if and how-will-i and who-will-be-my-friend, they cautiously let slip. I swept up the vowels they let drop on the floor at bedtime, smoothed the wrinkled brows, collected their tears, and I tucked each and every one away for safekeeping. I didn’t want to pretend these words and worries don’t exist, so I collected them like the semi-precious stones my daughter buys at museums and secrets away in her sock drawer.
I collected every single thing as if they were geodes that cracked, spilling out prisms of amethyst light. So often all I see are the crusty outer shell of my kids. But, in moments of bravery, when they tell the whole truth with their tears or their vulnerable words or their furrowed faces, the glory in them spills out.
I thought when they left the womb, when they left my hip and my weary arms, I had finished with the carrying. I see now, I have only just begun.