The day is done. The kids are in bed. I cannot prolong the inevitable any longer. Tomorrow Brenna will take those great big steps up onto the school bus and ride on to kindergarten.
God help me if her bus driver is anything like Forrest Gump's.
In some ways I wanted this day to last forever and in others I can't wait for tomorrow. I think Brenna feels the same way. I know life changes - for all of us- when she gets on that bus. My friends who are a step ahead of me promise that it's for the better and that we're going to love it. I'm sure they're right, but it's still hard to move out of what's comfortable and embrace the unknown. The excitement is high. And so is the anxiousness.
As I reflect on her readiness, I'm certain I've taught her everything I wanted her to know before I passed her on to another teacher. She knows what it means to tell the truth. She knows the difference between right and wrong. She knows how to pray and how to love. She enjoys sharing and making new friends. She understands authority and knows how to respect a teacher. She knows her address, phone number, and her parent's full names. She knows not to go anywhere with a stranger and how to be safe on the bus. The patriotic side of me even taught her the pledge of allegiance. (Hey, now...she's lucky I didn't make her memorize the Preamble!) We've made the most of these nearly-six years.
The dress she picked to wear is hanging on her dresser. Her new shoes sit below. We added socks so she won't get a blister. I've packed her lunch except for the ham and cheese sandwich and written a note for her to find. Her book bag is by the door. I signed all the papers and checked off all the forms. We've chosen emergency contacts and signed up to volunteer. I bought the extra school supplies the teacher requested on Thursday. I wrote her name in her bag and lunch box with a Sharpie, so it wouldn't smudge. I think she's ready to go.
She asked for eggs and bacon in the morning. Michael already set out the pan. His first day is tomorrow, too. But he's had lots of first days, so this one is playing second fiddle. He won't be able to walk her to the bus stop with me. He has to leave for work. That's probably for the better. I fear if someone looks me in the eye tomorrow morning, my tears will fall.
If the tears do fall, I'm sure they'll run down rosy cheeks and pass an upturned smile. It's not sadness that draws them really, it's a feeling much more mixed. It's love. And tenderness. And amazement. And wonder. And a tiny bit of worry. But followed by more love. And a little bit of missing her. And some anxiousness on her behalf. And awe that she's so grown up.
And a whole lot of proud mama.