This morning I waved off a hairy boy going off to 8th grade. Just yesterday he stood in front of me afraid of kindergarten, holding his apple for his teacher, crying as he walked off. Today he yelled for me not to follow him to the bus stop and to “go in the house so no one would see me looking at him.” It was just a blink of an eye since he was taking his first step. And now he is walking down the block on his own, never looking back. I know the next few years are going to be bumpy with the scary teenage years ahead of me. But I am ready. I am looking forward to every nasty, crazy, hormonal moment. In five years he will be leaving me and going off to college. He may get married and move far away. I am going to cherish every second of the next five years. I am going to make his favorite dinners more. I am going to stop whatever I am doing to talk to him. I am going to remember how blessed to have had this boy. And I am never going to take for granted how blessed I have been able to be home with him.