So, it finally arrived. Juliette’s first day of school. After a flurry of scheduled activities to get her and us ready for today, she woke up this morning eager to get dressed and get going. And I have been fine through it all. Nary a tear and not even really feeling sad, primarily because she was SO happy and excited to start. It’s hard to feel sad for yourself when your kid is so full of joy over something. And I must say I held it together really well this morning, until the moment came in the Kids & Company room to hug her goodbye and let her get on with her day. It just came on like a ton of bricks, all of a sudden. It felt as though my heart jumped up into my throat, and I could barely breathe and I fought against my feeling until I got out the school door and could let go of the fight. I had to sit there a while in my car before I was in any condition to drive. And I’ve been thinking all morning, about how this represents such a major milestone for her, and for us, how this is the first of many little and big acts of letting go, where we continue to love her and care for her with all of our being, but have to ease up on that firm grip we’ve had until now. As Harald pointed out last night, from now on we will have her to ourselves only a few hours each day as teachers and peers become an increasingly important influence and part of her daily life. So there is part of me that is so sad to see those first five, precious years end. And yet, this is what we have wanted all along, to raise a child up to be part of the next generation, a contributing and vibrant member of society, and this is all part of that process. So it is a bittersweet day, tinged also with plenty of satisfaction and anticipation.