Today is the day. It’s the last day of our never-ending spring break and the day before my boys head back to school. I should be excited, for both me and them, but I’m not. Instead, I’m swimming in an all too deep pool of anxiety and guilt.

I’m anxious, as I’m sure almost every parent is right now about the decision to send them back to school. We all want what’s best for our kids, and I’m sure that’s why we all feel the need to explain our decisions, virtual or in-person school, to anyone that asks what we’ll be doing this year. I’m also anxious because in true -why do today what you can put off until tomorrow- fashion, I’m buried beneath sorting school supplies, hoping at least some uniforms everyone, and shopping for school lunches, that I’m sure I’ll forget to pack until the last minute.

That leads straight into the guilt. Instead of enjoying this last weekend with them, I’m busy. Just like I’ve been for most of the time off. You see, the toughest part of all this, at least for me, is that my youngest starts kindergarten tomorrow. Instead of taking in all extra time with him, I’ve been busy and distracted. That’s what I tell myself, but the truth is just that I’m human. I’ve had a lot on my mind and my to-do list, and I’m not good at giving myself grace in that way.

The truth is, a lot of parents, myself included have been busy and distracted and have not really been given the time or permission to grieve things that our kids and ourselves have lost out on in the past 5 months. Yes, there are much bigger problems in the world than not being able to walk my last kindergartener in on his first day. I know that. That doesn’t mean these little ones don’t hurt our hearts too.

So today, I’m going to celebrate this tiny little tyrant that will be going to kindergarten in the morning, whether they’re ready for him or not. And I’m going to give myself time to take it all in. I’m going to give extra grace all around and then I’m going to get ready for a big fun morning and first day pictures and probably being a little late. I’m going to remember that God loves us all and He wants us to celebrate the good things in life. And I’m going to celebrate.