Hello and Happy Monday, 

What a weekend. Here in NOVA, the cicadas are out, and it’s only just the beginning. I moved to NOVA in 2007 and heard the “horror” stories of the cicadas. I grew up in NJ and we have them there too, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I am truly intrigued. For whatever reason, I am not completely freaked out by them, except for when my knee was itchy yesterday and I stood up to see a cicada fall out of my dress. (cue the fainting spell). Truly though, I think it’s fascinating the metamorphosis they go through. 

We are all going through changes. Since school started back up in March, Michael has let me walk him almost to the door of his school. (Middle School) Each week I ask, “are you sure it’s ok I walk you this far?” and each week he looks at me like I have three heads and says, “yes, of course!”. Then, on Friday as we crossed the parking lot, some other kids were there; normally, it’s just us. Michael turned to me and said quietly, “you can go now.” I was confused at first, just staring back and then I realized. I was thinking quickly and said, see you after school as I waved goodbye awkwardly. 

It was a strange feeling. I texted Joe and told him to ask (rhetorically) if I would be able to walk Melissa to school when she went there since he’d be in 8th grade then. As I was writing I received a text from Michael (he does not use his phone in school unless an emergency) that said, “I’m sorry Mom”. And that’s when I could feel the squeeze of my heart, a lump in my throat, and the tears starting to form. 

I’ve been almost 13 before. I’ve been in middle school, I get how he feels. I cried (sobbed) the entire car ride home. Not because he said he was sorry. Not because my children are changing and getting older. Not because I couldn’t walk him to the door. I sobbed that I had the courage to leave a miserable marriage. I sobbed knowing that every step, as tiny, slow, and difficult as it might have felt, lead me to this day. I am grateful for the great relationship I have with my children. We are open, we talk about everything and anything. I am grateful I found love again, and that my children bear witness to a thriving, happy mother and a man that loves her. 

You might know I am a big fan of Pitbull. He likes to talk about “Short Steps, Long Vision” or “pasos cortos, vista largo” when referring to his life and the music industry. I’m with him. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. I’ll continue to walk this path, one step at a time. pada pada – loosely translated to step by step in Sanskrit. 

With Love, 
Jess