Over the next two weeks, you’ll see countless photos of smiling kids on their first days of school.

I have three who started this morning, myself. Fifth, third, kindergarten.

We did take that smiling photo on the deck before we shoved off, but my oldest also snapped this photo in the middle of the morning rush.

And this . . . this is what it looks like to grow up.

It’s here, on the kitchen floor, where the child who was born just yesterday had to let go of the last bits of her babyhood.

It’s here, leaning against the pantry, where the mother who was also born just yesterday had to relinquish another piece of her heart.

No wonder we were both crying.

We spent a minute there together on the floor, just one minute when we allowed the nerves and trepidation and tears to wash over us. She sniffled as I murmured bits of bravery I wasn’t sure I possessed into her ear. I steadied my breath, and she gathered her courage.

Then, we stepped into the next chapter of our story—together.

There are so many beautiful moments ahead for my kids, for me, for our family as we grow and change and test fledgling wings and unfurl wobbly legs.

But I know I’ll treasure this one—this brief moment when two hearts sat poised on the edge of what comes next—for the rest of my days.

Originally published on Assignment: Mom

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn has served as Editor-in-Chief of Her View From Home since 2017. A long time ago, she worked in local TV news and fell in love with telling stories—something she feels grateful to help women do every day at HVFH. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four kids but is really meant to be by the ocean with a good book and a McDonald's fountain Coke.