When my first son was born, my heart was full. There were so many firsts that we experienced and there was so much life we did together. And then my son Daniel came along. He was born 11 days before Carter started “big boy” school. I didn’t think my heart could stretch any bigger than it already had, but somehow it stretched to include an exact Daniel-sized hole.
Having the boys four years apart was almost like having an only child during the school day. All of the special attention I gave Carter, I have also been able to give to Daniel. He has brought such joy into my life. His crazy sense of humor, funny songs, and his sweet snuggles have been the best company these past four years. He has been my constant companion, even coming to work with me the last six months at the church. His ridiculous “what if” questions and elaborate tales fill me to the top as I daily enjoy his creative and playful spirit.
And this morning is my first morning without him here. I honestly feel a little lost. Even though we have been talking about it all summer and preparing for it since January, taking him to pre-k today was incredibly hard. He waltzed right in, found his place, began coloring and he was fine. I talked with his teacher and as I waved goodbye, I felt the flood of tears just under the surface. He smiled and waved and I headed for the door. It was so hard leaving the rest of my heart in that classroom this morning.
He’s going to do fine, I know it. He loves other kids and he is such a little social butterfly. It just never gets easier, letting our babies spread their wings. Even dropping Carter off for his first day of third grade was hard. I wanted to come in with him and make sure he knew what to do and where to sit. But I have to let them spread their wings. I have to let them learn how to make friends, try new things, and grow as tiny humans. It’s the way it’s supposed to be.
I know each day will get a little bit easier, but leaving the two pieces of my heart in someone else’s care is always hard. I’m so thankful for each day I get to spend with my boys and I wouldn’t trade a moment of it, even these hard parts. I look forward to seeing their smiling faces at pick up time today; hugging their sweet little necks and holding them close once again. Firsts are always the hardest, but knowing those sweet little pieces of my heart will be waiting on me this afternoon helps me get through the day.
Treasure those little pieces of your heart while you can. They won’t be little forever.