Thank you to my friend and neighbor who gave me permission to post this picture of my eldest walking with her eldest. It just seemed like the perfect illustration for sisterly support.
Do you remember that feeling? I'd forgotten how scared to death I was as we started our first school adventures. But it all came back to me when I hung out with my friends and found myself in the position of reassuring them that it will actually be really great even when they run into some tough times, because it's actually a cool journey. Is it a scary journey? Hell, yes. Will you think you are totally screwing everything up? Absolutely - just like you did when you brought your kiddo home from the hospital the first time. But MOST of the moments will be really great. And if one particular school situation doesn't work out, don't sweat it. You can change the situation - and I can pretty much guarantee you that your child will suffer no permanent damage.
As I listened to myself imparting these pearls of wisdom (and hopefully not annoying my friends TOO much), I remembered getting the same advice from moms who are about 10 years ahead of me. These same moms are now helping me through the early years of having a daughter in high school as I wonder how to support my kids as they figure out how to be...you know....ADULTS. I'm sort of living vicariously through the "adviser moms" who are 10 years ahead of me on the journey.
It's a neat image - each of us has our spot on the river of motherhood and every once in a while we need to turn around and encourage those moms going through the rapids we already conquered (or at least survived). Just keep swimming, sisters.