For five years I have been your constant. We spend every moment of our days together, learning the ins and outs of the mommy-daughter dynamic. I am in love with your personality, and you are fond of my hugs.

From the moment you were born, you and I have been inseparable, but now I am faced with the task of having to leave.

I hold your hand as we walk down the long hallway filled with art and inspirational themes. Your eyes are filled with amazement and wonder as you take the brave steps into your next big adventure. We have prepared ourselves for this moment all summer, yet I feel as though I am being thrown into an ocean of the unknown. You, on the other hand, are soaked in confidence and have no fear of the future.

As I watch you scanning the hooks for your name, I am reminded of something you asked me a few weeks back. We were reading your favorite book about a small kindergartner faced with the anxieties of first-day jitters. After we closed the book, you looked up at me with your big brown eyes, and said, “Mom, promise me you will leave when I go to kindergarten.” I remember a wave of emotions crashing over me, as I searched your tiny eyes for a small piece of indulgence. “I promise I will leave,” I answered.

Now, here we are. I am left at the threshold, praying that your braided head would turn in my direction. As I turn to leave, panic comes over me, and for a brief moment, I want so badly to swoop you in my arms and explain things to you. I want to tell you how much our lives are about to change. No more breakfast cuddles or midday dance sessions. I want to tell you that in many ways you are on your own, and mommy won’t be there to help you figure things out.

My child, you don’t understand, but this moment we have found ourselves in is a big one.

I want to justify these irrational thoughts, but in this moment, I feel God’s hand rest gently on my shoulders. My mind is flooded with images of you, my beautiful daughter. I sense that you have been called to a time such as this, and I know within my heart that God needs your presence in this classroom. Your contagious laugh will put anxious hearts at ease. The empathy that runs so deeply in your veins will spread like wildfire. My presence would prevent you from doing the work our God has called you to do.

I turn down the long hallway with a sense of understanding.

My dear firstborn, you are no longer mine to keep to myself.

Your small life holds so much purpose, and I pray that your soul exudes the gifts that were given to you by your heavenly father. Be a light, my child, and show the world the love of God.

As for me, I promise I will leave.

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Lindsey Carson

My name is Lindsey. I am a military wife and a mom to three beautiful children. I am pretty domesticated and totally enjoy wife-y things like cooking and mothering. I am originally from New Mexico, which means I am a mexican food snob, and require my own basket of chips and salsa at the table. Above all, I am a Jesus believer, and I am simply trying to find my voice in this vast space of motherhood.