It's back to school time.  A time when children will strap themselves to bed, so summer can last at least one more day.  A time when Mother's will try to hold back the tears and protecting arms.  A time of new shoes, bouquets of sharpened pencils, and haircuts. I use to get super excited about going back to school, cause, well I'm a dork.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE summer, very very much.  But especially when I was little, and the summers seemed long, I would get excited about seeing friends again and learning.  But most of all, I would get excited about back to school shopping.  As some of you know, I inherited my Grandmother's love of shopping and finding a good deal.  So back to school was just an excuse to go shopping! Hooray!

Inevitably however, the morning of the big day, I would find myself new outfit on, haircut, new kicks tied, backpack full of school supplies, bus note pinned to my chest, and absolutely feeling like I was going to puke my guts out.

Suddenly I would lose all care about friends, and realize that I was going to be in a crowd of people I didn't know, in a place that I would get lost in, and without  my Mommy.  This feeling has never gone away.  I was a wreck the first day my parents left me at college, and every first day at a new job ever since.

I know that everyone is nervous about change, and that change is always scary.  I know that doing things in spite of change, and in the face of nervousness is actually brave.  For a long time I thought of bravery as something reserved for hero's, for wars, and people who saved babies from burning buildings.  The truth is, that is beyond brave...that is unfathomable.  That is divine help.  But when I look around me in my life, I see people who are brave daily, and that is a hard kind of bravery.  Mother's and Father's who do it all on their own, friends who tell you the truth when they know you'll be mad, spouses who work at jobs they hate because it's best for their families, people who swallow their pride and take unemployment or lesser jobs than they are qualified for, people who help strangers, people who embrace family struggles or a family that may not embrace them back, people who keep trying no matter what it's about.

Bravery can be a lot of things, and most of all it's about being vulnerable to change because you know it's right: whether it's letting a child go and grow up, or getting on a big yellow school bus while holding your brothers hands.

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