JASON ATEN | MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHER

A VERY LONG, SHORT WALK

I can still remember the very first walk we ever took.  I remember looking at you, and thinking how lucky I was to get to be the one to walk next to you.  I remember walking you down the hall, from the nursery, to meet all of your new family, the day you were born.  

I remember how we had waited, and planned, and prepared, for 9 months for that walk.  I remember praying for you, and thinking about you, and dreaming about what your life would be like.  I remember looking in your eyes, and knowing that was only the first of many walks we'd take together.  

I remember how excited everyone was to see you.  I remember thinking how blessed we were because you were a part of our life.  I remember praying that your mom and I would be able to give you everything you needed, and help you become the woman God created you to be.


 

This morning, we took another walk together, this one not much longer than the very first.  Though it seemed like the longest walk I've ever taken, this morning, we walked to the bus stop, you and I.  This morning, we took a walk and waited for the school bus to come and pick you up.  Once again, we had waited, and planned and prepared for this moment - this time for the last 5 years.  I prayed for you, and I imagined what your days will be like, and what you'll learn.  You already have an amazing capacity to learn, and I'm so exicted to hear how much you love Kindergarten.

This morning was a very long, short walk to the bus stop, and just like that very first walk, it was altogether exciting, terrifying, and humbling.  This morning your walk ended with a bus ride to Kindergarten.  This morning my walk ended with the thought that there will be many walks ahead.


Sometimes when we walk, we fall.  Sometimes we trip, or scrape our knees.  Sometimes when we walk, we get tired.  Sometimes when we walk, we wish we didn't have to walk anymore.  Sometimes when we walk we discover new adventures.  Sometimes we walk to new places and see new things.  Sometimes we walk together, and sometimes you'll walk by yourself.  The most exicting thing about these walks is that you always end up someplace different than where you started.  

Even when your walk brings you home at the end of each day, you'll be just a little bit different because of where you've walked.  You may be a little tired, and your knees may get a little scraped.  You may be excited and full of the adventures of your day.  But wherever your walks take you from this day forward, please know that your mom and I are are incredibly proud of the girl you've become.  

We're incredibly proud of you for taking this walk, and we're incredibly proud of where you'll go.  When you trip, or when you fall, the only thing you ever have to do make us proud is to get up and walk again.  We've got plenty of band-aids, and kisses.  We'll help you when you need it, but my guess is, you were far more ready for this walk then we were :)