I’m a mess in this moment, you guys.

You’re probably looking at this picture and just seeing a kid walking out the door for his first day of sophomore year.

No big deal, right?

But you know what I see?

I see my little boy with his Spiderman backpack on his first day of kindergarten.

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I see my baby on the first day he was placed in my trembling arms.

I also see what you see, but with everything in between.

Every year, every milestone, wrapped up in this image of an almost-man, walking out my front door.

You know the drill.

Don’t blink.

Take in every moment.

Of course, sophomore year is not his first day of high school. Not his last.

It’s no huge milestone.

It’s just a stepping stone.

A step away from the past.

The past when I held him in my arms.

A step closer to the future.

The future when I have to let go.

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Right here is no huge moment.

But, for me, it’s a moment of unblinking. A moment that it’s all sinking in.

My baby boy is growing into a man.

While milestones launch us, it’s the stepping stones, the little in-betweens, that give us a moment to pause.

So here I am.

Pausing.

There’s so much to look forward to and so much to look back upon.

All the in-betweens that get us from here to there.

Are tears necessary for this moment?

Maybe not.

But I’m allowing them to fall.

Because we shouldn’t wait for the big things to happen to allow ourselves to feel the enormity of it all.

Here’s to feeling the in-betweens.

This article was originally published on Raise Her Wild with Mehr Lee

Mehr Piracha Lee

I’m a writer, wife, and mom of two navigating motherhood with careful attention to keep my children grounded, empowered, and even a little wild. I write Raise Her Wild to inspire and connect with other moms (and dads) walking the same path. You can also find me on Facebook & Twitter.