He made me a momma. At just a moment old, I gazed into his sweet eyes and he changed my whole world. I nursed him day and night, and I poured everything I had into him.

I was his first word. I comforted him when he needed me, and I rocked him to sleep countless nights just so I could hold him for awhile longer. I cheered him on as he took his first steps, I kissed his ouchies, I fulfilled his every need, and I begged him to stop growing so quickly.

He’s been by my side from day one—and now, he’s going to kindergarten.

If we’re being completely honest here, I’m not handling it well. I’ve read the encouraging messages from seasoned moms, telling me this is good for both of us, and he’ll be OK. And I believe he will, but that doesn’t mean this transition is easy. I need to process and mourn this change, and I need to work through it and be OK with this sadness. I know this sadness won’t last forever, and in a few years I will probably be popping the champagne on the first day of school, but right now these emotions are strong. The simple thought of dropping him off on the first day brings an instant stream of tears.

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God gave me this child to love and protect, but also to raise into an independent, capable person. Part of that responsibility means slowing loosening my reins on him, as much as it pains me. This is all part of the process of growing up, and mamas since the beginning of time have been unsuccessful in slowing down the inevitable.

I’m keenly aware this day is coming, and that I won’t stop it, but let me be sad for awhile. And to the mamas who have been there and done that, please be gentle on us. Let us feel these feels and work through them without feeling guilty. Give us a hug and say you remember those days.

Just as our kids are entering a huge new world, so are we. So mama, if you’re on the struggle bus with me, know you’re not alone and that we will get through this. It might take a lot of tears, chocolate, and wine, but we will make it.

Caitlin Henderson

Caitlin Henderson is a small town girl from Kansas who fell in love with a farmer. They have three kids who keep her on her toes and always clinging to coffee. She is passionate about showing people Jesus, and telling the story of agriculture. She loves writing about their life full of grace, craziness, love, dirt, and cows.