I want them to express their feelings loud and clear. I want them to take those words with them as their relationship grows over time. As it goes from the safe, comfort of our home to life beyond it.

Maybe living with intent has nothing to do with what you do do and everything to do with what you don’t do. Leaving some spaces empty once in a while. Some moments untouched. Some days completely blank. Maybe it’s less about the choices you make and put out into the world and more about the ones you make and keep for yourself.

I thought about saying something to those girls, as I have done so many times in the past in defense of my kids and others. I thought about encouraging them to give my daughter a turn. Asking them to share. Trying to teach them a little something about kindness and generosity. 

But I also know that right now, at this stage of parenting, this little word took on big meaning for us. It showed that we could teach our kids about being mindful and thoughtful and communicating well. That we can lead them by example and create routines that they may (hopefully) keep with them for years to come.

There's no "crisis" term for this stage that we can fall back on. There is no one really paying attention to our needs during this transition because we've checked off all the boxes we were supposed to along the way so we must be just fine, right? We have the baby, the house, the job, the travel budget...the whatever. But maybe we need more.

And my heart sunk. The whole scene looked so sad to me, so disheartening. How he could be so detached, how she could look so alone, how a young girl was in the middle of it, not knowing any better.

The other day, one of the teachers was standing with a young boy who was looking around in a bit of a panic. His eyes searched the parking lot nervously, his hands were fidgeting with his backpack and his mouth was turned down ever so slightly in a frown that he kept trying to control, to no avail.

My 10-year-old daughter is going away on her first school trip next weekend…without me. It’s a one-night, two-day group trip up to Sacramento and San Francisco that involves a plane ride, an overnight stay in a hotel and two very busy days of historical outings and highlights.Without me.

I simply HAD to be there for those pivotal baby years. I could always go back to a full-time job or pursue that passion project or make that move up the "traditional" corporate ladder later...when they were in school, when they wouldn't need me as much, later. Well, now it's later.