In the months leading up to Charlie’s 5th birthday, I told him almost daily “Mommy is going to cry when you turn five.” He would laugh and smile saying, “Mommy, you are silly. Don’t cry.” I tried to explain to Charlie that mommies don’t want their babies to grow up. We love them so much, it’s hard to imagine them getting older.

When I think back to those conversations now, I realize it was my fear of letting Charlie ‘fly the nest’ that made that 5th birthday so difficult. The impending thoughts of kindergarten and years beyond made me worry about how the world around him would change or alter his sweet, compassionate and adventurous soul. I didn’t want to imagine what life would be for him outside ‘the nest.’ The world can be harsh, intolerant and cruel. No one wants to see innocence fade from their child and realities take over.

What I have come to learn over these last 4 months, living without my sweet Charlie, is that those fears, were not about Charlie being prepared to face the world but me not being ready to let him.

The first 5 years of our child’s life were meant to prepare him for that first day of kindergarten, that inaugural ‘flight from the nest.’ We poured our love into Charlie-myself, Michael, our family and friends. We taught him tolerance, to love and treat others as individuals who were no better or no worse than himself. We made sure he knew that mistakes were a part of growth and “I’m sorrys” were expected. But most of all Charlie knew that he was loved, unconditionally for who he was.

Even still it’s hard to let our kids ‘fly’ even when we know they are ready to go.

What I would give to be sending Charlie off to his first day of Kindergarten to watch him learn and grow in life’s next adventure. But unfortunately, I am no longer able to do that.

So my prayer for you, parents on this first day back at school, college or whatever new endeavors your child is starting, is this:

I pray for God to give you wisdom to know your child is ready for this adventure, peace in knowing that the unconditional love you have for your child is all they need to be successful and the strength to let them ‘soar’ from ‘the nest.’ #glimpsesfromheaven #CharlieHolt #CharliesHeartFoundation

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