Today my little man (3-year-old grandson) goes to school for the first time. My daughter called first thing this morning very tearful. This is a hard year. Her daughter started 1st grade and now the baby is starting nursery school. I feel very emotional just thinking about it. All of the firsts are so wonderful and difficult all at the same time. First steps, first words, school, sports teams, dates, it all goes by too quickly. Letting them go, letting them have the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail is so hard. We all want to protect our children and grandchildren from all the bad stuff out there. Sometimes we need to step back like we did when they took those first baby steps. We are there to catch them if they fall and we hold our breath as they strut proudly across the floor. A very wise woman, my sister-in-law Rita, gave me the best bit of parenting advise I ever received. It has stuck with me through all the firsts. “A parents love is the only love that should grow toward separation.” Isn’t that marvelous1 It’s been my experience that letting them go has kept them close. When you hold on too tight, they pull away. Thanks Rita! I could not have gotten through having kids without you.