Today was K's first day of school. She dressed up in brand-new clothes, strapped on her brand new backpack, and waited outside with the big-kids, like her big brother G. When the big-kids got on the bus, she watched them depart, eager for her own bus, the special kindergarten bus, which would pick her up after theirs.
After the other kids were gone, and the other parents cleared out, it was just K and I, waiting alone in the chill morning. I held her on my lap, burying my nose in her hair, hanging on tightly to that moment where I could still hold her, where I knew she was safe in the circle of my arms. I held on to that moment, where I knew she still needed me.
Eventually, she slid away to perch in the grass at my feet. She looked at me, so knowing, so grown up all of the sudden.
And I held on to that moment too. To knowing she was big enough, and strong enough to take that next step, with her tiny feet that now looked so adult in her new golden slippers
And then, in a moment of pure K, she danced.
And I held on to that tightest of all.
And then, it was time. GH joined up outside as the bus rounded the corner. The anxiety knotted my stomach, and I fought the urge to drag K back inside. She bounced and glowed. Her excitement flowed through her, splashed on the sidewalk, and managed to hit me with a few drops. I smiled,and tried to hold on to her, but she was too wiggly.
And then she walked away. And I let her.