Yes, there were tears this morning, and they should have been expected. But honestly, I had no idea I would become a practically blubbering mess when I dropped CC off at school (real school!) this morning.
Today was CC's first day of kindergarten, and that seems so impossible. We've been thinking about this day for so long, and finally here she is. And she was ready.
She could barely sleep last night, she was so excited. And this morning, putting on her little uniform for the first time, she said, "Mommy, I'm going to think it's great!" She already knew, and I crossed my fingers and held my breath every minute hoping she was right.
In my own first-day nervousness, I got to her new school extra early this morning, fearing I would make some sort of drop-off mistake. The process is a precise and efficient one -- one that involves me staying in the car while a parent volunteer takes CC from her car seat and walks her to her kindergarten group.
When I saw that we would be early, I said, "Bear (which is what I call her most of the time), why don't we drive around the block, so we're not so early."
I guess it was hard for me to let go.
"No, Mommy," she said. "I don't want to drive around the block. I want to go."
"You don't mind sitting outside for a few minutes before the bell rings?"
And that was that.
I drove into the driveway, where a line of parent volunteers awaited the next car. I had discussed with her the whole process the night before, explaining that I wouldn't be able to get out of the car and go with her. So we decided that I would give her two special squeezes on her cheek, so she would know that I loved her and that I was proud of her.
Then I stopped, and a woman opened CC's door, unlatched her car-seat belts and held her hand. "C'mon, honey," she said. "You must be new."
I reached my hand into the back seat to give her the squeezes, but I was too slow... or caught up in the moment of watching this woman take my brave child to her first day of school -- and I had missed her cheek.
Standing by the car, while the woman shut the door, CC looked at me and smiled.
"I love..." I choked, "you." And I watched as she walked to her place, hand-in-hand with this other person. And she didn't flinch. She was ready.
When I picked her up at the end of the day, I could see how happy and excited she was.
"It was great, Mommy!" she squealed when they placed her back in the car.
Just like she said it would be.
|CC at pickup time.|