The weekend before the children went back to school, we visited the horses. Emily and Anna were setting out to ride Belle (mama horse) and Mercedes but baby Serendipity would not follow. From where I stood I could see baby horse, but her mama could not so she was nervous, whinnying back, and in a tizzy. Serendipity on the other hand was busy checking out the world around her on her own, not worried about Mama in the least, amazingly beautiful, strong and independent. Just two days later I found myself sending the children off to school. I thought I'd wake early and treat the children to such a special breakfast, but as I finished feeding baby Clara and set off to the kitchen I found a most appetizing breakfast ready on the table by Isaac. The big kids soon yelled, "Bye Mom, love ya!" as they jumped into the car with Dad. What happened to one more look back hugs and hesitant to leave home kisses of last year? On to elementary school. Mikela insisted she get out of the car and start to class so she would NOT be a minute late. Neither of us knew her teacher or classroom yet, but she was a big fifth grader and fine without Mom walking her in. Bye, Mikela! Then I thought to wave bye and hold Kate a minute longer, but when I said Hi to the teacher and turned around, there she was already in her seat, big smile on her face waving me off. Little Esther to preschool next. Oh, she was nervous but dressed to her best and acting as big as she could as she kissed me goodbye, growing up so much in that one moment. I slowly walked to the car holding Zoie's hand. "At least I have my two tiny ones at home with me" I thought as I went to boost Zoie Grace into the car, but she quickly pushed my hands down as she forcefully proclaimed her own independence, "vyfelf!" Like Belle it was hard to let up on being Mom careful and watching every minute, keeping them under my wings, but like Serendipity they are growing gorgeous, strong, independent with vibrant and beautiful spirits that will go on to do great things and "what's a mother to do?" Whinny them back, cry on the first day of school, but know, she'd not have it any other way. Here's to another year of growth!