These days are filled with hope, whispers of new beginnings, longings for warmer weather. Maybe it's all of the changes in my life of late or maybe it is just the gorgeous weather as winter ebbs into spring. While we don't have a true winter here in AZ, spring still brings with it cool breezes, promises of summer breaks, vacations, adventures that lie ahead. Tuesday I registered my daughters for Kindergarten then headed off to my son's first baseball game of the season. Those two separate events gave me reason to take pause. This vivid flash of finding out I was expecting twin girls came back to me. Memories of my belly swelling bigger than I ever thought possible, cries in stereo, first steps, words, I was flooded with past moments as well as tears. I can't believe my girls are 5. That they are standing on the cusp of this new glorious beginning as they inch closer to starting school. I was intensely reminded of a blog I wrote when my son first started school. I looked through my archives and read what I had written.
"So, my son is starting Kindergarten in one week and I have been anxiously awaiting and counting down the days. Then I realized that this is it, there is no going back from here. My baby is growing up and it will all pass by so quickly. Five years has gone by in the blink of an eye. With Cam it is even more bittersweet as we almost lost him during his first year of life and he has had to face numerous challenges with his heart and life. He thrived even when they told us he wouldn't - he is tough and strong and funny and such an incredible inspiration to me. He is the biggest piece of my heart - the part that hurts and has bled and scarred over, the part that makes me happy and sad and would love to make him perfect and whole, the part that loves him in the way only a mother can love her firstborn, the part that makes me laugh and frustrates me at the same time - he made me a mommy. He is so much like me - stubborn and strong willed, witty and wise beyond his years - he has hopes and dreams and I tell him to never let anyone stop him from pursuing the things he loves. Once I wondered if he would make it to his first birthday and now here he stands on the edge of a vast precipice one that I can't go over with him to - the journey is his to take. All I can do now is kiss him goodbye and know in my heart that I gave him the best I could and know he will far exceed everyone's expectations. Wow, the time has come to start letting go little by little and I don't know if I am ready. The thing is Cam is ready and I will send him off letting him know that I will always be here for him and then have a good cry and then support and love and encourage him no matter what. That's all any of us can do for our kids - love them unconditionally and remember it's about them not us."
Now, Cam is almost 8 and looking ahead to 3rd grade next year. The girls I have enjoyed and nurtured are ready for their chance to embark on their new journey. Another bittersweet moment for me. I have been counting down for them to start and now I feel that period of freedom, days just being in the moment with them, slipping quickly from my fingers. I feel like I could just reach out, hold on a bit tighter, keep them little a bit longer. The truth is that the time has come for all of us to move forward, me with my career, the girls with school.
Yesterday, I sent off Cam's application for heart camp this summer. He has been asking to go for the past two years. It is so hard to believe my little baby with the broken heart is big enough, independent enough, mature enough to go off to camp. I know how much he needs this opportunity to connect with other kids that have shared the same struggles as him. A place where no one will stare at his scars when he goes to swim in the ocean, where surgeries and fears are an understood unspoken bond. More tears for me, new adventures and experiences for him, new beginnings for all of us lie ahead.