I’m glad she’s not afraid. I really am. There have been times in the past couple of years that she’s struggled with worry. Biting her nails, asking me a ton of “what ifs.” And I suppose there will still be those days. But today – her first day of the school year – she was just plain excited. So excited, in fact, that she almost flew out the door. I mean, I had my camera ready and this was all I could catch. She was that fast. I almost couldn’t believe it. I guess I had expected her to cling to me, just a little.
I grabbed my camera thinking, “I’ll catch her walking up the drive to school.”
That small figure to the right – that’s Evyn, charging confidently up the walkway, nearly breaking into a run. I almost didn’t get a snapshot. She had scooted away just as quickly as her flight from the car. After an entire summer of days waking up with her and seeing her through the entire day start to finish, there it was: 8:00 a.m. An empty seat in the kiddo-wagon.
I wanted to sit there and pause to catch my breath. But carpool lanes don’t work like that. So I cried all the way home.
You would think I was sending her to college, not the first day of second grade. Second grade – not even technically a milestone of any sort. Which might be what made it harder. To see into the future a bit and realize that it’s going to keep going on like this, pomp and circumstance or not – they are going to keep getting older and I might never get used to it. I’ll be proud. I’ll be grateful. But letting go, little by little, will always come with a bit of heartbreak.
I couldn’t wait to pick her up later that day, find out how her day went. Clearly I was more invested in this whole moment than she was because most answers to my questions were met with a quizzical look and “I don’t know, Mom. It’s only my first day.” And there it was. A reminder that this is just one day. And if I spend too many moments being sad about the twenty hundred days from now, I might completely miss the fun of the Meantime.
So I’m going to take deep breaths and make the Meantime count.
Jan Rake Hernandez says
What’ll you do when it’s time for college? You’ll remember how smothered you felt when I had trouble leaving you at college, how excited you were for me to go home and for you to start life as “an independent adult”….. and how quickly you ran to me when you had that first fender-bender “on your own” 🙂 We never stop needing our moms – even when we think we have – life eventually reminds us how irreplaceable they are in our hearts and lives. Right now I’m going through the reverse… watching my mom go back through stages, so hers is the independent-back to dependant process, and it’s just as heart-rending. Change. You and I aren’t fans 🙂 I think the lesson is to cherish relationships, embrace our loved ones, for eventually they all end in this life.
PS – I love the shot with the toothless smile! So appropriate for second grade!
Ahhh memories of the first day of school — glad she charged into second grade like a champ!