I'm not quite sure how it happens.  Well, actually I understand that part, I guess it's just a little hard to accept how fast time flies and embrace that I now have a 4th Grader.

Somehow that little kiddo that we welcomed to the world (what seems like yesterday but is actually) nine years ago has now grown up enough to be an "older kid" at his elementary school.

It's such a strange concept, because at home, I love hearing his ideas, his jokes, watching his passions and gifts develop, and seeing his interest grow and deepen in numerous areas.  Somehow though, at home at least, he's still that LITTLE kid now and then.  Walking into school and seeing his 4th Grade classroom, that changes a bit.  There are years of memories, years of growth, and now duties as "upperclassmen" of his school that he will be taking on.

It hits you hard.  Not even in a bad way, just a significant one.

Jeff Connell, Townsquare Media

Speaking of, this picture is incredibly significant and is evidence that he's not the only growing.  This is a picture represents an incredible amount of growth and change in just the last year.  This is me, my son's mom, my son, and his step mom.

At the start of last school year, the same people were involved in his life, but we were not in a place where posing for a picture considered.  We were in the middle of some of the messy side of divorce, and it was separate first day pictures and a very tense situation.

Flash forward 365 days, and we've all grown a bit more.  His mom and grown to better communicators and found a way to navigate difference of opinions and desires in a less charged way.  She and her partner have married, and we all have allowed hurt feelings or baggage to slip away, and to start "fresh," and do our very best to continue to unite around him and give him the adults in his life together at his big moments.

Truth be told, this is our third as we did his last day of school, shared his birthday party, and now sent him off to school together.   I'm proud of us too.  It's better this way, no comparison.

So as we start 4th Grade, I'm hopeful and excited to see how he grows this year.  I'm also excited to see us, the adults, continue to grow, and I know that great things have and will continue to happen as we put him first.

I guess we've all done some learning in the last year.