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Back-to-school Blues and Blessings

Updated: Aug 22, 2018

My son went to his first day of junior high school today. We were going to homeschool him this year, but at the last minute, I realized I couldn’t let him miss out on all the things about junior high that I loved so much. (Yeah, I’m one of those weirdos who LOVED school.)

But the truth is, I was terrified up to the moment I left him at the school to go find his class. I cried on the way home, because my baby boy—one of the sweetest, brightest lights in my life—is becoming a man. I have no idea how to reconcile myself to this fact. I know it happens to every mother. Eventually your babies grow up. Eventually they leave you behind. Eventually they become independent and eventually you are replaced by another. I know I’ll always be my son’s mother. I know he will always love me in that special way that only sons love their mothers, but holy Moses it’s excruciating!

To deal with this milestone in my son’s life, my instincts have been surprising me. I haven’t been spending as much time in my studio creating a painting or starting work on a new novel the way I have during other agonizing situations. Instead, I’ve found myself using my creativity to create as many lasting memories, meaningful conversations, gentle words and an overall sense of present-ness, acceptance, belonging and love in our home. I believe this is a motherly instinct kicking in, so that when the hard days of junior high school hit my son—and I know they will—he will know that there is a safe and happy place to turn for peace and joy.

I think many trials—particularly the ones that concern the people we love the most—often require us to stay put and face them. I believe this requires a different kind of creativity. But I also believe it is incredibly worthwhile, because when the trial finally passes—or we simply adjust to it—what we are left with is the beautiful product of our creative time and effort. In this particular situation, I’m hoping for a rich relationship with my son that will last forever.

Have you ever found yourself facing a trial like this with creativity? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Lot’s of Love,




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