Your first day of Kindergarten. Your first day of “big school”. You are so, so ready. (I am, too!) We walked into the brand new school and you led the way to your classroom. You feel safe here already.
How did you get so big? When did it happen? I thought I was watching, savoring it all…but sometimes the biggest changes in life are actually just a culmination of gradual little changes. And somehow in all the watching and waiting, I missed it. I missed the moment when you became a real “big” kid.
We dropped off your stuff in the classroom and headed to the cafeteria for breakfast. I showed you how to go through the line. How to get your napkin, your milk, your tray. We found you a seat and I realized that you had never seen a milk carton. After showing you how to open it, we started to walk away. “Bye, buddy! We love you!” “Bye!” And it wasn’t until I reached the door that I heard you running up behind me. “I need a straw”, you said with tears brimming in your eyes. “Baby they don’t have straws here. Just drink out of your carton.” “But I need a straw.” “Well, they don’t have straws, babe.” “But…but…but…” You cling to me. This isn’t really about straws, is it? Walking back to your seat, I show you how to drink milk out of carton and then we really leave. You wave and although I think I can sense a little hesitation in your goodbye, you mean it this time.
I have to admit that I was a bit caught off guard by having to leave you sitting alone in the lunchroom. I didn’t expect to leave you without a specific adult being in charge of you. A lot of other parents stayed until their child(ren) had finished breakfast, but we had to go take Lydia to her school. I am confident that you figured it out. I know that there were plenty of adults in there, but it still felt weird. I hope you figured out what to do with your trash and how to get back to your room. I can’t wait to hear all about it this afternoon.
Confident, you chatter away on the way to school. You tell me and your dad that God is following you to school, but when we ask what you mean, you brush us off. I can’t help but wonder if it’s true that children are closer to God than adults. Somehow I feel the answer is yes.
Quiet, but still with a pep in your step, you walk down the hall. “I see the ladybug, Mommy!” And we find your name and hang up your bag. Walking in the door, you squeeze my hand a little tighter and I can feel the anxiety begin. “Hey, babe. Why don’t we go color? Look! Mrs. H already has crayons out.” I say a few things that make you giggle, get a kiss and start to head out the door. And I see the tears beginning to well in your eyes. Trying so hard not to cry that you can’t even speak…I know, little one. I know. I know how it feels. You come in for one last hug and nestle into that sweet spot just inside my neck and I breathe in your sweet smell and take a mental picture. For all the pictures that I take, some of my favorite ones are only in my head.
I leave you behind, crying. I feel a little guilty about it, but I know you will be fine without me. You are strong. You are “big”. And you did, after all, tell me that God was with you.
Asa is searching for you both. He keeps wandering down the hall and knocking on your doors.
We’re gonna have a big day, he and I. And I can’t wait to pick you guys up and find out all about your day.
But first? I’m gonna take a nap. 🙂
And I do miss you…a little.