I dropped you off at Kindergarten today, and you walked in without even considering looking back. I called you back for a quick kiss goodbye, a quick hug, and you obliged, but just as quickly turned around to run inside.

You ran inside to a day that is without me. To a teacher, kids, food, activities, a whole life that I am not really a part of. Not in the way that I have been up until now.

Until this year, I knew every single second of your days. I didn’t have to wonder what you played, how much you ate, whether or not you put on your jacket when you played outside. I didn’t have to wonder if you were treating others with kindness, respect, and love.

I didn’t have to put much trust in my parenting, that I had started to instill in you kindness, fairness, truth. I just knew. Because I could see it.

I could see your little body playing, your bright smile flashing, your chubby baby hands coloring.

But the hands that wrapped themselves around my neck this morning were not chubby, and they were not a baby’s. They are little boy hands, the hands of a five year old who loves his art projects in school already, who is trying so hard to learn to tie his shoes, and his so proud of his first wiggly tooth. They are the hands of a young boy, who is growing into a young man, whose heart is so soft, and so good, it makes my own weak.

I want to call you back to me every morning, for another kiss, another hug. To hold you for just a minute longer, knowing each minute is slipping by faster than the next. But every morning, I let you slip out of my arms, and into the doors in front of us, bartering with God all day, your heart for mine.

I am learning how to let you go, slowly. Feeling my heart break in an effort to let yours have room. How to let your wings unfold.

And what beautiful wings they are.

Kathryn Ryder

Hello! I'm Katie, I was born and raised in the Midwest and I'm still trying to learn to love the winters. I'm a tried and true boy mom, with four little men, ages 5, 3, 3, and 1. Since 2010, I have had 4 months when I was not pregnant, or nursing, or both. I'm having to actively search out myself again, and learn how to nurture my soul. I am a wannabe runner. I am an accidental writer, an experimental cook, and I'm learning to be a truth teller. I survive on a whole lot of coffee, friendship, little boy bear hugs and sloppy kisses, and about three hours of sleep a night.