The Big First Day (and my mom didn't even buy me a backpack)...
I felt a twinge of mom fail in the moment, as I wrote her name inside a small reusable grocery tote bag. She didn't care, she just wanted to make her way to school. We loaded the bag with three very important items, a ziplock of extra clothes to store at school, a hat, and her water bottle. She of course, insisted on carrying the bag all by herself, for our family walk to school.
All four of us headed out, it was particularly sunny this morning, and GL didn't want to put on her hat. She kept on reaching up with her left hand to shield the sun from directly shining into her eyes as she navigated the sidewalk. I think she preferred to carry the hat in her bag instead, so her bag looked more important with something actually inside of it. Plus, she was overly concerned her braids would get messed up. She reached up for J's hand and I walked behind them, taking it all in. In all actuality, it was the first day of my daughter's school career. Even though it's not Kindergarten, she'll be there five days a week. Gulp.
As we made small talk about the big first day, I just observed and stayed ever present in this fleeting moment. I wondered how long it will be before she no longer wants to hold our hands. I wondered how drop off would go, if she would simply turn and say goodbye or would she hold onto my leg tightly and hesitate before I gently convinced her that she'll have a great time. I of course was feeling the emotional weight of this milestone in her life, in our lives. I reflected upon how quickly this moment had arrived and how incredibly thrilled she was that she was now going to school with her big sister. For her, this was the stuff life is made of. Big girl school.
The moment was clearly hers, as she walked in through the set of doors, quickly turned around and simply said, Bye Mama, Bye Dada... I lingered just for a moment in the hall, wondering if she knew where to hang her grocery tote, where to put her water bottle, if she took off her shoes in the classroom like her old school, but had to let it all go.
I walked out of the building and into the sunshine with the realization that my baby, really isn't a baby any more.
Brief update, after pickup we enjoyed a special lunch together and then I took her to pick out her very own brand spanking new backpack...