Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Secret's Out

Every birthday and half-birthday, we mark down on a growth chart how much each of the kids has grown over that prior 6-month period. Looking at those lines as they creep their way up the chart are a visible sign that these kids are growing. But nothing marks the passing of childhood-time (to me) as does the first day of school each year. It is this momentous day that lets me see before my eyes that these children are growing.

Caroline started school today. And this morning, this child who has become another part of me over our 3 months of summer together--always with me-- is independent enough to eagerly jump from my car into the arms of her new teacher. We talked about the fact that her's is the oldest class in the school now, and that all of those little 2-year-olds would be looking up to her. That's funny, though, because it's hard for me not to imagine her as one of those 2-year-olds, picturing her like this:

2009- first day of preschool

So as my Baby Girl hopped out of the car, so ready to be that Big Girl, I couldn't help but cry a little as I drove off. From the backseat, Aly (who doesn't start until tomorrow) cautiously asked, "Mama, why are you doing that?" I laughed when I realized that I had an audience and said, "Well, the secret's out! I do this every year when y'all start school, but you aren't usually in the car to see it! Don't worry, though; it's a happy cry. I'm excited for y'all."

And that's true, I am of course excited. But it's also true that each first-day-of-school hurts my heart just a little bit.


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