Colton brought the first egg to the house. Finally, those hens are starting to do what they are meant to do. From the day we brought them home as helpless one-day-old chicks, we’ve been waiting. Feeding them and watering them and watching over them. And now, it begins.

I took a picture of the first egg. But I didn’t take a picture of the second one.

Dad wrote an interesting post last week. He talked about all those kids starting their first days of school. He talked about beginnings, about learning, about teaching. About flying.

There’s only one first day of school each year.

Like Dad mentioned in his post last week, I also oohed and awwed over the sweet first day of school pictures posted on Facebook and blogs a few weeks ago. I loved seeing the cuteness of small children hefting huge backpacks. Standing on their lawns or by the school bus. I loved the homeschool first-day pictures of children seated around their kitchen tables, stacks of sharpened pencils waiting. Ready to begin. Ready, as Dad said, to learn to fly.

I didn’t see any second-day-of-school pictures.

There’s only one first day of school each year, and it’s right and wonderful and joyful to celebrate it and to document it. But the beginning quickly turns into the middle and the middle can sometimes be a challenge.

The middle calls for commitment. It’s the daily grind, the doing it over and over, the day after day after day. The middle is where the learning to fly happens, with all its bumps and stumbles.

So, all you mommas out there. All you wonderful, amazing, hard-working, grace-giving women who do this mommy thing morning after morning, busy day after busy day … know that you are cared for and loved and prayed over today. From my messy middle to your messy middle, we are all in this thing together.

You are all awesome.