I have been feeling it for some time now, but like the unwanted stare of a stranger, I have turned away, denying it. I have felt the gentle, yet persistent tug, but have been unwilling to face it. This hand that beckons grips me without touching, it is pointing rather than pulling.

I move forward with the days concentrating on keeping pace, not getting ahead or anticipating. It seems enough to offer just enough resistance to keep from speeding, so fast have these last few years been. No one seems to be bothering me with this uncharacteristic slowness, no one is asking me to hurry.

Today it hit me that they are unworried because they are not here. No one is watching or judging. I’ve fallen behind of my own will. I can stay here, but it is no more a victory than the runner who does not lose for never entering the race.

And there it is again, that feeling, small and familiar, but stronger than before. This time it’s pulling me and I know I cannot recoil. This is love and life. Briar is asking me to go with her, to celebrate and join her in today. Now.

My perfect, little, baby Briar is ready and if I am to keep from missing it, I have to go. It’s time for school.

She is ready because of me, not in spite of me. I wish this success didn’t make me feel as if I were splitting down the middle. I am so proud of her.