Every year is different, but somehow the same. Though I didn’t shed tears, this morning I had that same hole in my gut that I had when I dropped them in nursery school the first day. Are they ready? Will they be okay? Are they scared, nervous, or insecure? My anxiety ramped up a notch when I took my children to kindergarten, and then to middle school. Each year, our children are a little more independent and one step closer to going out on their own. Adam and Benjamin are off for their first day of school in Ecuador. As they marched off in their ironed school uniforms, with twenty cents in their pockets for the public bus, their backpacks filled with supplies, lunch and facemasks (in case the volcano blows), displaying confident, yet timid demeanors, I thought, “Oh my goodness, look at my grown-up boys…”
Are they ready? Yes, I think they are. All of our experiences help prepare us for the next. In this case, our travel through South America has been the training for their Ecuadorian school experience. Will they be okay? I am confident that they will. They are decent problem solvers and likeable people. Are they scared, nervous or insecure? Sure, aren’t we all? And most importantly, do they feel loved? Well, I certainly hope so. Being able to give and receive love is the most important ingredient for growth and development.
In this sabbatical year, it has become ever clear to me that during these two decades of my life, my primary role is mother. My professional endeavors are important too, but at this time, my first priority is to help our children grow into adulthood, having the necessary life skills and values to make them respectful global citizens. I savor these parenting days with gratitude and joy. It really does pass too quickly.
Here is the link to the photo gallery of Baños, Ecuador.This is where we call home until January, 2013.