In less than 25 days my baby will start school. And as many mommas who have sent their kids out for the first time, I’m a bundle of emotions.
I keep thinking back to the day we visited the school. An unexpected all gave us 24 hours to decide if we would take the spot. She grabbed my hand as we walked the hallway and pressed her body against my side, “You know it’s time, right Mom?”
We are making eggs for breakfast. Did I have her practice cracking the eggs into the bowl enough? If I knew she was going to start school, I think I would have had her practice more.
This summer has been full of Six Flags, gymnastics, bike rides, and community dance performances. Fingers greasy from popcorn and sticky from melted marshmallows. Dirty feet and chipped toe nail polish. Faint freckles across the bridge of her nose and hands toughened from practicing cartwheels. The smell of bonfires still in our nose.
Her hair is almost to the bottom of her rib cage. It’s been darkening over the years. It curls gently down her back and tickles my arm when she cuddles against me. She found a picture of me in kindergarten and she called us twins. I only hope to have a fraction of her spirit when I grow up.
We have less than a month. 25 days. Not that I’m counting.
She unpacked and tried on the clothes we bought for her uniform. Then she put them on hangers and found a spot on her rack in the small closet she shares with her sisters. She picked out what she wants to wear the first day of school, complete with shoes that light up. She’s particular about how she will wear her hair.
In four weeks she will start her newest and biggest adventure of her 6 ¾ years. And for the first time I won’t be there to hold her hand, or whisper in her ear, or give her a reassuring smile and thumbs up. I’ll pack her a lunch, write her a note, and kiss her on the cheek.
I think we will bake bread today. She likes punching down the dough and checking on it as it rises.
And cookies. We will start baking lots of different kinds of cookies. It’s important to see what kind she likes best so she has her favorite when she comes home from school.
We have 25 days left. 25 days of bike rides and stories. Of trips to the pool and walks around the block. Of roller coasters and sand castles. There will be plenty more hot dogs, s’mores, and star filled snuggles. But in the back of my head, I hear the clock ticking.
I feel scattered. I know I’m scattered. I am excited and nervous and happy and heartbroken all at once. I’m thinking about the time we’ve had when I’ve had her all to myself. I’m thinking about the way she blossoms when she’s around others. I’m already missing her.
I hope I did enough. I hope I told her I love her enough. I hope I gave her enough hugs. I hope I sat with her long enough. Listened long enough. Gave her my full attention enough.
It never feels enough, does it?
But she's got this.
I've got this.
We've got this.