I'm sitting here at my computer getting a little weepy today. My younger daughter rolled into kindergarten this morning, ready to go, 100 percent confident, excited and eager.
As the (much needed and valued) teacher's assistant walked her down to the classroom, she didn't hesitate. She didn't look back. I'm so proud and thrilled for her. She is ready for this step. And she is in fabulous and capable hands.
I suppose that I am ready too. The last six years (she missed the Aug. 31 kindergarten cutoff by just a few days) have been a big juggling act. Working from home has many benefits, but sometimes it pulled me away from the most important work I was doing: Raising my child.
I often say that I was a better parent when I was working outside the home when my older daughter was young. Because when I was at home with her, my focus was entirely on her. Work was back at the office. Either way, I have no regrets.
Here's what I'll miss: Afternoons cuddling on the couch, reading countless picture books, her fingers always wrapped around strands of my hair. A little hand almost always in mine. My sidekick during trips to meet other moms or check out various destinations for Go Ask Mom posts. These years of my life, raising little ones. I have two school kids now.
And, perhaps, that last one is what I mourn the most - not this big step for her, but the end of a time in my life.
On Monday, we ate lunch at Observation Park at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Back in 2010, just as I was working to launch Go Ask Mom, it was one of the first playgrounds I reviewed. And it was the very first of dozens of interviews and video shoots that I'd take my younger daughter on. I've been feeling more sentimental than usual. It seemed like the right place to go.
After watching the planes for a bit from the observation deck, she ran down the steps and started running along the play runways, her arms stretched out, sprinting away from me.
I might be focused on the past, but she is definitely ready to fly.
Sarah is Go Ask Mom's editor and the mom of two.