“I thought you were the Captain?” ~ Ivy

This morning – after pancakes and bacon, a first day of school breakfast… tomorrow cereal returns – Ivy and I played pirates on the deck. We were caught up in a storm and then attacked by bad pirates. I broke out my trusty “arghh” pirate voice and we fired the canons and fought to hold the ship steady against the thundering winds. Then as the waves calmed and the bad pirates retreated we found a baby whale. Ivy informed me the bad pirates had taken the mama whales during the battle. So we put her in our ship’s aquarium and I asked Ivy, “Captain, what will we do now?” To which she responded, “I thought you were the Captain?” “Not today. Today you are the captain!”

So we again set sail and spotted the bad pirates. I held the ship steady and fired the canons. While our captain hopped on her skateboard – which seems more like a surfboard – and raced out into open water. She used her bow and arrow to split the chains holding the mama whales! Once every whale was free we sailed away and it was time to take Ivy to school… though I think we forgot to take the baby whale out of the ship’s aquarium.

Our second first day of school again brings up all our emotions. We are proud of our little first grader. I love her imagination – she drove the story above, which is why I made her captain. I love her energy and joy. And yet, I am amazed she is big enough to be in the first grade. And I worry about her. About being teased. Or getting hurt. I know we are letting her go. Not completely. But for these moments we will not be there to save the day.

This is part of growing up. Parents let go. She must navigate the waters of life. She should become the captain.

Of course in her wake we are praying for calm seas… and that she will not encounter any mama whale stealing pirates!

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