Today is a milestone for my son and also myself.  Today we find ourselves turning the page on one chapter and starting a new chapter.  Those words make it sound easy, but the truth is, it's not easy, it's hard and it hurts the heart.

What the heck am I talking about?  Well, 9 1/2 years ago, I entrusted the care of my 18 month old son to a bunch of strangers.   That in itself is a leap of faith, but, it turned out to be the best leap of faith I could have ever taken.   E. started attending Footprints Day School when he turned 18 months old.   Today we say goodbye to these wonderful women who helped raise my son.

When he was little he spent his days with them while I came to work.  They helped potty train him, they helped him learn to read, they helped him make friendships, be artistic, be creative, and so much more.

They helped me navigate the world of Autism when E was first diagnosed, they helped him get through meltdowns.

As a single momma they helped me more than they will ever know.   They changed their schedule to help me, when I had to be at work before the sun came up and before most people wake up. They were there.   They helped me get E. to and from school when he started and they picked him up when the day ended.

When I was short on money, they let me pay a little late.  When I was going through heartbreak they understood and offered a hug to me and a shoulder to cry on when I needed it.  They also gave E some extra love as well.

When E. had his surgery they were the first to text to ask how he was and how it went.  Then text again the next morning.

My kid was their kid.

Today we say goodbye to these amazing women.  It takes a village to raise a kid and they were a part of my village.

Last night he asked me if it was OK to cry tomorrow and I said yes, I'll cry right along with you.

Today as I dropped E off for the last time he said, "Momma today is going to be tough, I hate growing up."

Miss Marsha stuck her head out the door took a deep breath and said, "Here we go."  To which I responded by crying.  I cried this morning.  I'll cry this afternoon.  I'm crying now as I type this...

It's hard to say goodbye.

If it's hard for me, I can only imagine what my son is going through.  It's hard enough for him to process things as is, but, I think this is extra hard for him.  They are a part of his comfort zone.   They have been a constant for almost 10 years.

I know they will always be around and will be there if I need help with E, but it's not the same as seeing them every single day.

To the parents looking for a great place for your kids.  I can't say enough about Footprints Day School.   These wonderful women that run the place and the teachers that they have teaching your kids are amazing and wonderful.   They have become a part of our family and forever in our hearts.

Today is just one of those days that sucks, but it's a part of moving on and changing and growing up for my child.  Heck, it's a growing experience for me as well.

Change is a hard pill to swallow.