I had several flashes of my daughter’s future this morning as she walked down the stairs. She was going to the mall with her friends, then going to prom, then graduating and following her dreams. But then she returned to the little smiley six year old that she is. Care-free and singing to herself a song she learned in school.
She slid on her Little Miss Sunshine backpack and I walked with her to the bus stop. Back in September it was raining, but she shone so vividly with her pink umbrella and dazzling smile. Kindergarten. A new adventure. So much potential, so much anticipation.
Today is the last day. It’s bright and sunny out. There’s no umbrella but the smile is still there. When she started the journey, she could read a few words, but now, she reads full chapters.
She started the year with all of her baby teeth, and now she has lost six of them in total. The four bottom ones are growing in, the top two still missing.
She’s made friends, found new interests and started to truly become her own person, separate from her father and me. It’s sad and beautiful all at the same time, but mostly beautiful. I love when she uses a new word or shares with me a new bit of knowledge she’s gained.
The bus pulls up. In September I worried so much. Would the other kids pick on her? Would she pay attention in class? Would the teachers like her? Would she like them? I cried on the walk back from the bus stop, the rain masking my tears.
Today, the same flutter rumbles in my belly as the yellow and red lights blink on the bus. I wave at the bus driver when she opens the door and she waves back. We’ve done this all school year. Sort of an unspoken agreement that she’ll get her safely to and from school and she has.
The bus pulls away and the tears well again. Not for any fear or concern, but that universal sense of pride that all parents feel when their child completes their first year of school.