This month is a big one for my family, and I am just not ready.

My little baby starts preschool this year. It’s a sign he’s getting older, no longer a baby, but a wanna-be big kid. My third child starts kindergarten. Kindergarten! How did this happen? My second born child enters fifth grade — his final year of elementary school. He’s not a baby anymore either.

And y’all. The biggest one. My oldest goes to middle school this month. I know, it’s not like she’s moving to Texas, but this momma is having a hard time with all the changes!

I’m not usually one for sentimentality. But with so many kids starting a milestone year, I’m just a little weepy about it. I’m allowed, right? I’m used to having a kid home with me all the time. The start of this school year is a sign that they’re all growing up a little more.

I have always said that my goal as a mom is to raise my children to be competent, independent adults. They’re well on their way to realizing that goal. My husband and I are watching them to become those self-thinking, empathetic, people we have prayed they would become.

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But that doesn’t mean I don’t wish they would need me a little longer. Want me to hold their hand a little longer and snuggle under a Paw Patrol blanket a little longer. Watching them grow is amazing, seeing their worlds get bigger is exciting. But it also means they get further from us with each step.

If you are sending your little (or not so little) ones off to a new school this month, what are you doing to cope with the changes? Extra coffee? Going back home and laying in bed having an existential crisis?

I’m not a coffee drinker, so I might choose the crisis option here. Or maybe I’ll just go to Target. We’ll see.

Either way, it’s a new chapter in life, and one I’m not nearly as prepared for as I hoped I would be. I’d appreciate someone telling me it gets easier, but I have a feeling it doesn’t. They will continue to grow, continue to spread their wings a little more. But I will always be here, back in the nest, watching with pride.

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