It’s back to school time here next week, and as Parker will probably tell you, I am all emotional about the prospect of another school year starting. I think it’s worse this year because we just took our daughter, Kira, off to college. She’s 20 years old, so I should feel lucky we got the extra two years to enjoy her at home while she attended community college, but now the house is a little bit quieter, and I’m aware that the kids are all at an age now where they are more independent.

This is also a transitional year for Parker, who will be starting middle school. We live in a small town, so the adjustment is minor; he will simply move to a different wing of the same school he was in. He will still use the same gym, the same choir room, and eat in the same cafeteria.

But still!! My little guy is heading into MIDDLE SCHOOL – the place where the boys start talking and thinking about sex and the girls get boobs and start their periods!! Is it any wonder I’m slightly insane at the prospect??

Do other moms have a tough time seeing their kids grow up? As much as I love seeing my kids’ personalities develop and how much I enjoy watching their individuality establish itself, there are times when I would prefer to simply freeze time and keep them small enough that they will always let me cuddle and kiss them.

For the first time, it dawned on me that we are on the downhill side of parenting. Three of our kids have safely reached adulthood, and while our youngest is only heading into second grade, it sure seems like she is growing up fast and that it won’t be long before we’re taking her off to college too.

I know I can’t stop time. I guess I don’t really want to. I am excited to see what my kids do with their lives and what impact they can make on the world.

And hopefully, they’ll understand if I hold them extra tight and hug them just a little more often over the next few days.