I had her breakfast made before she was up. Scrambled eggs, toast and raspberries – nice and balanced with a little protein punch. She was going to be off to kindergarten in a few minutes and she needed to have energy, after all.
Teeth and hair brushed: check. Sophia shirt: Check. Headband: check. Sparkly shoes: check. Frozen lunch box and hot pink backpack: check. And we were out the door with 10 minutes to spare.
As we walked, she chatted away, per her usual. Me, forcing her to pause for a few pictures. For her, getting to ride the school bus is one life’s greatest accomplishments and today was the day. She has been asking to ride the school bus and counting the years and months and days until it was her turn. I would have preferred to drive her myself on the first day, but she insisted. And so, off we went.
After our casual stroll up to the bus stop at the corner, she looked up at me. “Mom, I have to go potty.”
Potty! Of course! In the midst of the breakfast and the outfit and the backpack and the new shoes, we both had completely forgotten about potty!!
I looked at my phone. We had 6 mix minutes. “We have to run,” I said. So off we went, her backpacking bouncing on her back and my keys swinging from my hands. “Good thing I have my fast running shoes on so I can lead you home, mom,” she said. Humility: something we are working on. Confidence: something she’s mastered.
We made it back home, to the potty and back to the bus stop with two minutes to spare. And then the next two minutes went by in a blur.
“There it is! There’s my bus,” she exclaimed, pointing at it driving around the bend.
As I looked down and her and smiled, my mind was on over-drive. Give your kid a kiss. Take a picture. Help her on. Don’t help her on. Hold her hand. Let her go. Tell her to have a good day and to remember where her snack is. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
I gave her a kiss, told her to have lots and lots of fun.
“Okay, she said,” and walked bravely toward the bus. “There’s already kids on there. There’s already kids on there,” she said as she walked up the steps and chose her seat. The doors closed and the bus driver smiled at me. He looked a little like Santa.
I hope he drives safely today. I hope her teacher smiles today. I hope the kids are nice today. Because, while I want her to grow up and do all the things she’s been made to do, the spreading of her wings just makes my momma heart ache with love and pride and unspeakable joy. And some moments just tug at my tear faucets – like this one.
I turned and walked home, tears streaming down my cheeks and prayers going up to Heaven, as I sent my little girl off on the school bus and out into the world.
Today, 2:55 can’t come fast enough.