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Nine years ago today (Aug. 20, 2009), my daughter attended kindergarten orientation. The occasion appeared on Facebook Memories.

Seeing the post took me back to the days leading up to sending my girl to full-day kindergarten, five days a week. Up until then, she had done full days of day care and preschool a few times a week since the age of 10 weeks. Now, she would go to school by bus. Mom or dad wouldn’t walk her to the door or help her get settled for the day.

That first day of kindergarten arrived. Amber’s dad and I watched as she boarded the bus. She smiled and waved as it pulled away, and I walked into the house and had a good cry.

No need to cry, mom. That first day went beautifully, and every first day of school that followed.

On Wednesday, (Aug. 22, 2018), Amber will attend high school freshman orientation. She’s about to embark on her last four years of school before handling the real world of post-secondary education, work and other life vocations.

I know I’m not the only parent of a pending high school freshman pondering time’s passage. I know moms are remembering, ever so vividly, the day that teenager came home, tiny and helpless, from the hospital. They are recalling the end of elementary school and the beginning of middle or junior high school. They think back to the years in between filled with homework, projects, activities and more. They are most likely looking ahead to all of those things again, but this time, their teenager, a little older and perhaps a bit wiser, will tackle them more on their own than previous school years.

We can only hope.

Like it or not, high school has arrived for my firstborn. I will embrace it and encourage her every step of the way, from school work to activities. And of course, not better time than the present to keep picking her brain about post-secondary education. Ugh. Another new beginning and bridge to cross when we get there — most likely sooner than we think!

Good luck to all those moms embarking on milestone beginnings and endings, from preschool, kindergarten and middle school to high school and college.