Friday, August 28, 2009

Firsts. And Lasts.

Well, it happened. The baby started kindergarten. And I'm still alive. I wasn't so sure I would make it through the first day, but there were small graces. Like a donut party and pictures and sweet traditions at the bus stop. Like furtive hugs and hand squeezes when the kids weren't looking. Like coffee and breakfast and laughs with those who understand and empathize and who don't ask what you're going to do to fill your days now. As if. And like bright smiles from two girls who bound off the bus after the first day saying things like - It was GREAT! My teacher is PERFECT! I had the BEST day! And suddenly everything was OK again. I won't say I'm not still grieving. It is a transition, after all, from baby days to big kid times and it's not easy. I search for the baby that she was not so long ago (Big Stuff has been gone from Babyhood so long, I now have to refer to pictures to find my First Baby)....I listen carefully for it as she mimics the sassy conversations of the older girls and pretends to know things she has not yet grasped. I'm pained by little things, like how she refused to let me wipe her hands and face after breakfast. I wonder where mama's girl has gone. Then today, as I jump into her path on her way to lunch, I receive my prize. Joy, joy... as she grabs my neck and lets me carry her into the cafeteria...sticky, smiling cheek pressed into mine and little hands tangled in my hair....And I thought, Ahhhhh, there she is. And I get to have her for a little longer.

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