This week marks a crazy time for so many moms and dads.

Aside from the fact that we have to remember the 23 different end-of-school-year activities going on for each child.

And that it feels as if every parent in America needs to take four days off from their regularly scheduled working lives in order to fit in every event and activity (We do the best we can, right?!)…It’s kind of a bittersweet time.

A really bittersweet time for me.

Because the end of this school year means my littlest “graduates” elementary school.

And my biggest actually graduates middle school.

(As in there is an actual graduation ceremony with ironing and dress pants involved.)

Yes, that means my first born child is going to high school in the fall.

So if you run into me at Target or the grocery store, just know that although I may be smiling on the outside.

I am actually kind of a mess.

On the inside.

Think teary-eyed-mom-singing-to-Cats-in-the-Cradle-in-my-car kind of mess …on the inside.

I keep trying to hide it.

I’m a little verkempt (if this was an essay and I had a foot note section, this is where I would give credit to Saturday Night Live’s Cawfee Talk).

All week I bury myself in my to-do list. Lie to myself that I’m OK through emails. On the phone. And down a few spoonful or five of Nutella.

I’ve tried to jog it out.

Write it out.

Chat it out with mom friends.

I’m trying, in the most Talladega Nights way to “bury it deep down”. But as a mom, I can’t help but feel a temporary sense of bittersweet holy crap-ness.

That this is really happening.

This sh*t is real.

Kids really do grow up in a blink of an eye.

My husband found an old video of my son walking to the bus stop on his first day of kindergarten. That was nine years ago.

He played it for me at 6:45 a.m.  today – the day of my son’s 8th grade graduation.

This man, my loving husband, knows what he’s doing. He knew I would appreciate the video. And that it would send me into a tailspin of motherly emotion.

At a time when I’m at my most rattled and vulnerable.

A time when I’m still in complete denial.

As I watched the 20-second clip, (which I remember recording because I’m as usual behind the camera as we walked our little guy to the bus stop), I saw the version of my son I still see in my mind’s eye. He was so sweet and small, in his little kid-pre-teen voice and big-boy backpack. (I would post it, but if I did, my son would probably never speak to me again.)

My son watched the video with me this morning. And he knew I’d lose it.

But I tried to stay strong and hold it in.

Until he left for school on his bike.

Then I let the tears roll.

Yes, this week marks an important turning point.

For my kids.

For me and my husband.

And for so many parents.

Once again, and thankfully without diapers and potty training, we have NO IDEA WHAT WE ARE IN FOR as parents as we face the true teenage years.

It’s exciting.

And nerve-racking to think that our kids will put us through the same crap we put our parents through eons ago.

And yet we head into it with the highest of hopes.

Coach Taylor’s clear eyes.

And full hearts.

And a bundle of circle-of-life God-help-us-all naivety.

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