6:30 am and I was half asleep in the kitchen. Holding my warm cup of coffee between my hands like a lifeline…gulping it down and thinking I really should wake the girls up.
Sadie skipped into the kitchen, blonde bob all mussed and the biggest crooked grin on her face. She yelled "I'M IN KINDERGARTEN!", lunged at me, and clung to me for just a second.
And in that second I closed my eyes and prayed a brief prayer. Please God let me be here for every first.
I helped her get dressed in her new H&M dress she picked out weeks ago. She had painstakingly arranged her outfit on the floor last night, including some pink cowboy boots that Harper recently handed down to her.
She asked for a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. But she didn't eat very much because she said her tummy was nervous. She paused between bites and asked me questions.
Was she going to have fun? Would it be scary? What if she missed me?
She checked and double checked her lunch. She was very concerned that I would forget to put a special note in her lunch. As if.
She had me brush her hair twice and asked that I add a little detangling spray. She said she wanted to look "appropriate".
I tell you, this child knows exactly what she wants.
Then we headed through the courtyard out onto the street to get in the van to head to school.
She hides it well, but she was a little nervous. I know her like the back of my hand. I know her like I know myself. But I don't let on.
Sadie? Not a word. I caught her eyes in the rearview mirror a couple of times and told her how much fun she was going to have and how much I love her. How proud of her I am. How proud her Daddy is.
But what if I miss you mommy? I like being with you all day. Thea babies are going to miss me. What are they going to do without me? What are you going to tell them?
Man, that kid slays me.
As we walked up she reached over and grabbed Harper's hand.
Sadie looked a little adrift and I felt her clammy little hand grab mine.
But that moment was gone in a heartbeat. She saw her teacher and her aide (she ADORES them both) and went right to them.
One look back at me:
"That's what mommies do. Do you want me to stay or go?"
"You can leave."
Two tiny hands in mine, two little topknots bouncing, back to the van. Buckling those tiny topknots in with tears in my eyes…wondering how that happened so quickly.
It stung a tiny bit to be dismissed so easily but just a TINY bit. More than anything I was proud that she was so strong and brave. And it was one of those we must be doing something right moments.
Atta girl, Sadie.
I'm that mom. The one who was ready for them to go to school. SO over the bickering and the tattling and the name calling. But what is it about seeing your children vulnerable? It's heart breaking. It swoops in and takes your "I'm not going to cry" best intentions and tosses them right out the window.
You know what's terrifying? The fact that parenting never stops being terrifying. The fact that it's one big bundle of joy and fear and panic and frustration and beauty.
Love to you all.