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Today I took this picture as she napped, all baby and all big girl, all at once.

I swear it was yesterday she was in my arms for the first time, wrapped in pink skin & blanket, fresh and precious and fragile.

Tomorrow she will start her first day of real school, wrapped in a pink backpack & nerves, sturdy and precious and ready.

Maybe it is because she is my first, or my only girl, or because I never had to go through these first-day-of-school experiences, but this is a lot for me.  I worry about making the wrong choice.  I worry about rushing her through life.

I mostly worry about her being away from me, learning to trust another building and another woman to shelter her body and soul. Remember that soft spot I told you about a couple of years ago? It’s still there, tender as ever.

I know that I cannot shield these babes forever, but how I want to: protect, preserve, provide.  I want to be their only world, their only light. But I also want them to be in the world and all light.  I want them to be brave, independent, wise, kind.

I have to remember that this decision is for one year and not for ever. (I still don’t know)  That our times of books and walks and naps are not over, there is so much sweetness and childhood left to be savored. That what happens in our home dictates her future more than any of these other pieces.

And that I am not ultimately her savior.  This is the hardest part.  She is her own little human with her own little mind and wishes and I am here to serve as a guide, and that is all.  Guide, guide, guide.

May I guide her well. And may I learn how to slowly let her unravel, over the years, and weave her own life and story and her own way.

God, be with her. I love her so.