Thursday, September 12, 2013

Big Pond

We just started our third week of kindergarten. My daughter, who has fought mornings since the day she was born, is excited to get up each day. I want that to last forever. I want her to love learning the way I do. 

The first day of school was just as I had always envisioned. We picked out her outfit and carefully packed her lunch together. I taped a quarter inside the lid so she could buy milk at lunch, only to find out later she bought licorice instead.

We stood outside, like so many other families that morning. She was beaming, not one bit scared, just so eager to start her new adventure. With every click of the camera, I took a moment to blink back the tears that were threatening to spill onto my cheeks. Her eyes caught mine, and she patted my arm, "It's okay, Mama. You know I'm coming back, right?" 

But I knew she wasn't coming back. The wide-eyed little girl who stood on my front porch that morning was never coming back. She didn't know it, but her life was about to change forever. Her world was about to get so much bigger, the first stones of her life's path were about to be laid.

We paused for a minute, as I held her hand in mine. For a brief second, I was certain I could stop time, rewind, and hold my newborn baby daughter once more. But of course, time does not stop. As she grows so must I. And so I let her go -

And off she went, without so much as a glance over her shoulder. I waited, and watched, and hoped, but she never looked back. She was ready, so ready for this day. I'll get there, I'll be ready someday. Until then, I'll be here, knowing that one day she will look back. And when she does, I will squeeze her tight and let her go all over again.

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