When the shadows are gone…….

I’ve been struggling to find words to express the thoughts that have been swirling around my head these past 24 hours as I’ve mentally prepared to send my last-born off into the school yard.


Outwardly I’m excited, because he’s excited. I’m happy, because he’s happy. And I’m ready, because he’s SO ready.


But, on the inside I’m a little heavy-hearted. Okay maybe more than a little.


Because for 10 years, I’ve had a shadow.


First it was just one shadow, and boy did that take some adjusting to. But then it grew to two, and then three, and it was as if they had always been there. They gave my life extraordinary meaning and purpose, and made me feel worthy, brave and strong.


During some moments in that decade though, I admit that I wished I could shake them. Just for a day, an hour, even a minute. Just to have a second on my own, where those little tailgaters weren’t wholly dependent on me for absolutely everything.


But for the most part, those shadows were the greatest blessing in my life. They were part of me, and my identity had become tightly wrapped up in them.


Those precious little shadows followed me everywhere, looked up to me for guidance and reassurance, and despite all my failings, loved me unconditionally with every inch of their souls.


They taught me deep lessons about myself that I couldn’t possibly have learned on my own. Things like patience, selflessness, vulnerability, forgiveness, progress over perfection, and the art of spinning plates (constantly spinning those plates).


One by one though, gradually my shadows began to disappear into the school yard. And while there was a small sense of loss with each one, there was an overwhelming feeling of excitement and pride as they began to spread their wings. And there was relief too, as the relentless nature of mothering young babies and toddlers began to ease.


But today, the last of my shadows is gone.


In the blink of an eye, he’s off like the others to discover the big wide world on his own.


And I know that come tomorrow, my shadow-less figure will be the new norm for me. It’ll be like the time before never existed and I’ll hit a happy new stride. Because that’s life.

And that’s precisely why I’m feeling a little lost in this moment – because it all passes by so quickly.


I know there’s nothing unique or special about my story. It’s part of the memoir of every mother before me who has walked this path, and is walking this path with me today.


And when I put it into perspective it really isn’t a big deal.


Except that it is. Today, it is.


So, if you, like me, have just hugged your baby tight and walked bravely out of the classroom without that adored little shadow in tow, I’m walking beside you. Not behind you like they were, but beside you all the way.


Fly high today little Geddy. I’m gonna miss you.


x Lee.