Friday, August 17, 2012

I Blinked

I've done this before; it's no big deal. 

I peeled back her polka dot covers and whispered in her ear, "First day of school!" She jerked straight up, grinning with sleepy eyes. "Today?!" she squeaked. "Today." I smoothed her hair and told her I had muffins.

We walked the two blocks to the school, her eyes shining, full of wonder and anticipation all the way. We dropped off big brother and then moved toward her building. I parked the stroller, scooped up Caleb, and we walked through the two doors. Her classroom painted in red was happy and pulled us into the swarming of young ones and their picture-snapping parents. We saw "KATE" on the table with a fresh sheet of white paper, waiting to be decorated. Though she wanted to play first, she finally resigned to scribble first. For a moment, I wondered how it'd turn out--she looked a few seconds away from tears. But my big girl took a pink crayon and didn't miss a beat.

The sting didn't wait for me to get outside; it hit as I stood up to let her stay. I shuffled back to the stroller and asked why this was hard. I've done this before; it's no big deal. How did she get here already? Wasn't she only two just last year? Didn't she just learn to use the potty and brush her teeth on her own?

I blinked.

Back to the quiet house with just the baby. I'm watching the minute hand for when I can be with her again. I know that the next day will be easier, and by the tenth day, I'll be thankful for the quiet time and the chance to wash dishes, grade papers, fold laundry.

But on this first day, my heart misses my baby girl.

Peace of Christ to you,

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