Sending my kids off to school is bittersweet. We have enjoyed so many adventures in the beautiful sunny days of summer. But now I am ready for some routine and structure and I believe the kids are ready, too.

This year I am sending my two youngest off to kindergarten. Although I feel a bit like a little school girl myself, giddy at the thought of a whole day to work and also do some things just for me (it has been ten years since I have had that), there is definitely a part of me that is feeling a bit heartbroken at the thought of these years being done forever. I’ll never have those times back with my little ones.

I wonder if I have done enough, if I have taught them all they need to know. I worry I didn’t give them enough or do enough with them.

My heart aches for my kids when they struggle to find friends or struggle to fit in, when they struggle in school and feel a lack of self-worth. I worry that they will be bullied or treated unkind, that they will be laughed at or feel insecure. I wish I could protect them and keep them safe always. But, I know I can’t; I know I must let them spread their wings and step out into the big wide world. When I wave goodbye in the morning, they are in someone else’s hands and that is hard for me. I hope and pray that they will be OK.

And then, in my sadness, I release myself as I inhale deeply and repeat the words, “It is enough; I am enough…all will be OK.”

*****

We all need to feel loved, to feel a sense of belonging, to know that we are enough. We all need to have a friend, to know that someone just gets us, just the way we are. We all need to know that no matter what we do, we are perfect just the way we are.

So, this month’s Make A Difference Challenge is for each of us as parents is to give that little bit extra, wherever we are in this journey of life: to be a little kinder, a little gentler, a little more understanding.

With the start of this new school year I challenge you to be quick to forgive, slower to anger. To love more unconditionally and see your child, spouse, neighbor, or friend for who they really are and completely accept them. To take time to just be with those we love, cherish the moments that may seem small and insignificant but are really the moments that bond us together. To believe in yourself and in your child especially the one who seems so lost and unsure. To just believe in their ability, and your own, to do great and marvelous things. To accept without judgment, love without expectation, forgive without needing to be right, to let go and just be.

It is a new beginning, a moment of excitement and one that could leave us feeling a bit emotional but, as with all things that tug at our heartstrings, it is good for us to reflect on our emotions and where they lead us.

At this time I am challenging myself (and I hope you will join with me) to be all that I can be for those I love and to make sure that they know how special, important and perfect they are. And that that is enough.

Photo courtesy of Chantelle Adams

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