A new text message.
Thursday. But, not any Thursday.
"I am praying for you."
"You know he's ready. And, so are you."
"It's gonna be great."
My friends. My sister. They know my heart.
This past Thursday, I sent Lincoln off for his first day of Kindergarten.
I had been simultaneously dreading the day and anticipating its arrival for months. That wretched emotional cocktail of YES and NO - so sweet on the lips one moment and bitter going down the next.
He is my shy child. The one who clings to my leg when I leave him at his class at church - where he knows everyone and loves to be - but that initial handover is dreadful. The one who still sounds like a two-year old and plays with his kitchen and collects bags of the tiniest things he can find because life hasn't gotten hold of him yet and told him he has to grow up - yesterday. My third son - our middle child - who is somewhere between the bigs and the littles and as I watch him grow, I struggle, too:
Is he big? Or is he still my baby?
He wanted to go. And, he didn't. One minute he was excited. The next, terrified.
My emotions mirrored his.
Thursday came and I took out my phone and I took pictures of him - my big little middle baby child.
We all walked in together and the two best friends he's ever known walked with him and they held me up with their smiles and their love for their little brother.
I tried to hold back the tears but there is no dam strong enough to hold back the waters of a Momma's love and the letting go that is asked of us as we watch the babes we held so close in our arms, whose bums we patted, whose jiggly legs toddled across the room - now learn to fly.
Cousins. Five of them now walking through those school doors together. Cousins. But, more like brothers.
More dinging on my phone, more love from my people this morning, as the first "offical" day of Lincoln's Kindergarten year began.
And, so I watch him eat breakfast and I pack three sandwiches instead of two and because I want to remember - I sling my big girl camera around my shoulder and load up a baby and another baby into the car to wait for us.
And, I take more pictures of my newest big and my heart knows that all will be well because he is God's child before he is my child and my holding on would only keep him from a God-designed, Lincoln-shaped adventure.
As I look at my tribe - my first three little birdies who God used to whisper, "You will love being a boy Momma" and I know...
Because I've been here twice before...
That my Lincoln will soar.