Carolyn Moore, a mother and writer at Assignment: Mom, has personally done the back-to-school routine countless times. And while she's gone through the motions before — getting the school supplies, packing lunches, and taking the customary pictures — she realizes it's OK to lean into the whirlwind of emotions that come with beginning a new academic year. In a moving Facebook post, she shared an experience she had with her daughter during her morning rush.
"Over the next two weeks, you'll see countless photos of smiling kids on their first days of school. I have three who started this morning myself," she wrote. "Fifth, third, kindergarten. We did take that smiling photo on the deck before we shoved off, but my oldest also snapped this photo in the middle of the morning rush. And this . . . this is what it looks like to grow up."
For little kids who have been by their parents' side most of the time, diving into a new school — or class, for that matter — can be especially overwhelming. "It's here, on the kitchen floor, where the child who was born just yesterday had to let go of the last bits of her babyhood," she said in reference to the photo, which symbolizes how time can pass by in a flash. "It's here, leaning against the pantry, where the mother who was also born just yesterday had to relinquish another piece of her heart."
Instead of rushing her daughter out the door, Carolyn took the time to sit with her little girl on the floor to cherish the emotional moment. "No wonder we were both crying," she said. "We spent a minute there together on the floor, just one minute when we allowed the nerves and trepidation and tears to wash over us," she said. "She sniffled as I murmured bits of bravery I wasn't sure I possessed into her ear. I steadied my breath, and she gathered her courage."
While change can be scary at first, Carolyn knows it's important to look forward to all the wonderful moments a new school year can bring. "Then, we stepped into the next chapter of our story, together," she said. "There are so many beautiful moments ahead for my kids, for me, for our family as we grow and change and test fledgling wings and unfurl wobbly legs. But I know I'll treasure this one — this brief moment when two hearts sat poised on the edge of what comes next — for the rest of my days."