This little baby went to kindergarten.
And this little girl came home.
That's my favorite picture of her to date; the photo on top. It used to hang in our dining room. Women, the dramatic ones the most, will look at that photograph and claim their uterus is making physical pangs. It's a pang-inducing picture. Look at it. Look at those eyes, those ridiculous cheeks, the impossible tiny pink shoes. Pang, pang, PANG.
She had a great first day. I asked her, and that was her reply. She was enthusiastic. She summed it up, We basically lined up all day long. It was boring. You heard it here first. 270 nonstop days of asking when she could go to school and it was anticlimactic and a snore-fest. That's my girl.
On my first day of school, I rode the bus home.
The wrong bus home.
My neighbor Jason and I were dropped off a neighborhood over from ours, the last kids on the bus and completely clueless. I can't recall if the bus driver intervened in any way- but for the sake of his memory I choose to believe we lied to him and he safely dropped us off, end of story.
We wondered down the street- I wore red jeans and a white polo shirt with a navy blue belt and matching shoes. Hi, America, I love you so hard. We eventually saw a bike path that we knew led to our neighborhood, and we hauled ass. Sure enough, we came flailing down our street as our Mothers- one in her kitchen berating the Hell out of the transportation company and/or school- and one standing sentinel on our street, wringing her hands. I remember talking to my grandparents that night, replaying my first day of school for them as though I wasn't their 11th grandchild to do so, but the first and they let me do just that. I told my Grandpa the best part was finding my own way home and told me quite literally, that I had street smarts.
The lil' dude's bus was over 10 minutes late at drop-off. No need to worry, the endless paperwork the school provided to us first timers mentioned that as a precautionary measure against likely initial week logistics. Do not call the school or bus company if the bus is 10-20 minutes late, it said. School is 2.1 miles from our driveway. I put my faith into those logistics and sat sentinel myself with other Mamas and their dogs and iPhones and wrenched-on hearts.
And there bus T-38 came, and my daughter was the first one off. I felt my shoulders relax when I didn't know they were tense. Her Bestie came tumbling after.