I remember so vividly the first day of school. Not for myself because let's be honest, that was awhile ago. I'm talking about the first time I dropped my daughter off at the front doors of her elementary school. Those feeling were real, raw, and filled with emotions many can't fathom until they are in the depths of them themselves. Let me tell you, it's not for the faint of heart. There is a realization that occurs as you give one last hug, one last glance, and one last I love you before turning around and heading back home or to work. It's a realization that when well meaning people told you time flies, they weren't fabricating it. It's a realization that although you've nurtured your kiddo to the point of school, you really never thought the day would actually come. It's a realization that a new start has begun and there is no turning back.  You've entered into a new kind of normal.

Yes, a new kind of normal. It's a bizarre feeling to enter into a completely quiet house. It's odd to have the opportunity to actually pee alone and to finish a cup of coffee while it's still hot. It's complete insanity to have time to pick out what to wear for the day and put on actual makeup and not just chapstick and a spot of powder. (for those with younger children at home, this day will come, I promise!) Throughout the day you check the live class updates for any chance there might be a photo of your precious little squish. You pull out your phone and surf through photos of that morning. You smile at their snaggle tooth and the backpack that sags to their ankles. You begin counting the minutes until you pick them up, or they arrive safely home on the school bus.

HONK HONK HONK!

The time has arrived! You quickly move to greet the bus driver and a huge grin is smeared across your little girls face. She jumps off the final step and her backpack bounces and nearly knocks her off balance. 

"How was your day?"

"It was awesome!"

"Did you miss me?"

"Kind of, but I had so much fun!"

Year after year I'm brought back to that first day. The backpack now fits properly, she packs her own lunch, tells me school was fine, and loves shopping. As I said, a new kind of normal. It's ever evolving into something more beautiful and different than the year before. Relish in these moments and soak the memories deep into your soul. Laugh a lot, create deep meaningful bonds, and hold tight to the memories of all of those firsts. As you know, they only happen once!