i first put one on my hand. then i asked parker if i could add one to his. i told him it was for if he missed me, he could look at it, and i'd look at mine when i missed him. steve was standing right there and said he wanted one too and then of course anders had to get in on the action. so there we were, all with hearts on our hands (had william and lindsey not already left, i'd have given them one too!!), all anxious, all wondering how this dreaded kindergarten hand off would go. he told me he was scared, and that it felt like such a big school, and that scared him too. my tears wanted to start as soon as the parade of busses started by. these tiny faces peering out the windows. these kids, once little kicking newborns so beloved heading off without their parents into the unknown. i fought them, keeping a brave face and holding my boy's hand. at the door, a teacher was playing guitar for all the new students and a smiling woman met us, put her hand out, and took parker's saying "here! come with me!" it was so fast, he sort of tugged at my hand and said "come in" but i told him this is where i drop him. i hugged him and kissed his cheek and then he turned the hallway and was gone. i couldn't hold them back anymore. here come the tears. steve's eyes filled too, bless that man who's heart is so wrapped up with parker's, and then he put his arm around me as we walked away from the school. it is so strange, so unnatural to be handing over your child to the care of someone else. every part of me wanted to run in, scoop him up, and bring him home. i'm reminding myself of this a lot, and maybe you need it too: just because it is hard or strange does not mean it's bad. and when i picked him up and he was all smiles, and told me he "liked everything" about his day, then i can sit safely in the knowledge that maybe it is right and good even though it feels the opposite. watching your kids grow is so full of joy and sadness. of course you want this to happen, but it's hard to witness just the same. i am so incredibly proud of him. and of me too. james taylor sings "the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time." i'll be figuring out how to do this as long as i live.