This morning, I launched my son — my  baby — into the world. Today he begins an academic career that I hope will foster and channel his natural curiosity, helping him chart a path of discovery that takes him ….. where? The possibilities are endless. He also will encounter a new social milieu and an expanding circle of influences — both positive and negative. My heart was full of hope and nervous excitement as I gave him over into his teacher’s capable hands. And at the same time, I was aware that entering kindergarten also signifies a curtailing of his freedom. Today he set foot on what can become a treadmill of rules and conformity. This is big, exciting, and scary.

It is also just one of many beginnings. Since giving birth to my eldest I have been delivering my beloved and precious charges into an ever-widening world: crawling to walking, playdates to sleepovers, preschool to elementary. And so it will continue through taking them to college, helping move into their first apartments, witnessing their marriages, or supporting them in whatever they pursue. If their father and I do our jobs right, they will keep separating from us, leaving us, moving out into the world with confidence and joy. I have a lifetime to practice letting go.

And while I am tearful and a bit fearful as my boy goes out into the world, another part of me is celebrating a different beginning — my own. Today as his world expands, so does my world of possibility. For nine years, care-giving has filled most of my waking hours (and many of what should have been sleeping hours), while I shoehorned my professional life into the margins. Now, I finally have time to devote to my own career — coaching individuals and teams. I am at once eager and anxious. There is so much I want to do, ideas I want to explore, people and organizations I want to serve. Having long lamented the lack of time for growing my business, I can at last pursue my ambition. Yikes! I have work to do and time to do it. Consider me launched.