Several weeks ago, Laney and I were out on a walk with our dog, Molly. It happened that while on this walk, Laney’s shoe came untied. She stuck her foot out for me to tie, as that was obviously my job. I asked her if she could do it and her simple response resonated her innocence, “ You haven’t taught me yet.” The weight of motherhood came crashing down on my shoulders with this simple reply. I had taught this sweet child to read, but not to tie her shoes?
With the changing landscape of our family’s day, I began to panic. My children have been home with me for the last 4 years, and are all going to traditional school this year; two of them for the first time. As I introduce my children to the world at 6, 8, and 11, have I done all I need to in order to prepare them for the world they are about to step into? They have not been sheltered, I reminded myself, but are they ready? Are they equipped?
As Laney and I walked home, her shoe untied, we talked about life. We talked about school starting, and her anticipations and anxieties about the nearing big day. She has none. She is excited to meet her classmates, her friends, and most importantly, play on the playground and eat cafeteria food.
We got back home and Laney learned to tie her shoes. As I photographed her, I released my insecurities about the job I have done, realizing that they were just shoes that haven’t been tied by her yet. My stars will shine. They are ready for this new adventure. I will watch them with prideful tears in my eyes and say, “Those are MY kids.”