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  • Writer's pictureKate LaFleur

Took the long way to the store. Because I got lost.

I feel like today is a good day to write my first blog post. It's the first day of third grade for my son Emery. I'm alone and it's pretty weird.

I guess you should know a little about me before I get too far. I'm Kate. 36 years old. Yoga instructor. Mom to Emery Cobra. Wife. Lots of things. I live here in Grand Rapids with my family and my big dummy of a dog, River Frances Bean.

I became a yoga instructor last year. I had been in a career that didn't really serve me anymore. I was working so much and missing important moments with my son. Through the encouragement of my husband, I started my yoga teacher training. I was kind of all in on getting started teaching right away. I had no idea where I was going to work. It seemed like there were so many yoga teachers around. I just knew I had to keep the momentum going. So I decided to start my own business and just start asking people if they would allow me to teach at their (you fill in the blank) business. I became very good at hearing "no". Which would normally have totally wrecked me. But I just kept going. And here I am now. I teach part time, so that I have time to be there for Em and continue my yoga teacher education.

So, let's talk about now. As in today. I helped Emery get ready for school. We had both previously agreed that we wouldn't cry, and we were successful in that. I made breakfast, laid his clothes out, and helped him style his hair (an expertly maintained mullet, obviously). All the while having to remind him to keep moving, stay on track, we're on a time schedule this morning. That's my least favorite part of the morning routine. Who wants to be told to hurry up as they are beginning their day? But I find myself repeating it to him and it drives me nuts. Anyway, I got him to school. Walked him to his classroom at his request. And then I was on my own. A list of to do's fresh in my mind, I headed toward the grocery store as my first stop. I mentioned earlier that I live in Grand Rapids. I have lived here my whole life, yet somehow I cannot seem to not get lost. Like, I get lost so often that it doesn't even worry me anymore. I just know I'll get back on track eventually, and I usually do. This morning's detour allowed me some extra time for thought, though. I started to feel so sad about Em being back in school. I feel lost without him at my side. We have such a special bond (which we will explore in a future post) that it feels like there's a hole in my chest when I'm without him. I feel it every year, but more today than ever. I walked into the store and dragged my ass through the aisles, distracted by feeling so dumpy.

I finally got out to my car to load the groceries after having to backtrack several times from missing things on my list. I was sifting through my brain, trying to find ideas to keep me busy. I eventually started beating myself up. "Now you're officially useless. Get used to it. He's going to need you less and less every day as he grows up." Big tears were welling up now. Public tears. Ugh.

My husband was texting me. So was my mom. At least that broke my train of thought. So I sat in the driver's seat, returning the messages before I headed home. As I made the drive (a much more direct route this time), I still felt sad. But I decided to also note that I have been given the opportunity to continue to figure out who I am. Some people don't ever get that luxury. So, I'm doing it at 36. Whatever. At least I'm doing it. Emery is so much like me. And he's also figuring himself out. So, cool. We get to make this journey together, too.

Em got his first day of school picture today. I took one of myself, too. Let's figure this year out, Em. Day by day.

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