A year of firsts, and a year of lasts. All wrapped up into one. First day of school, first day of kindergarten, first day of feeling like a "big kid now." Last year of naptimes at school. Last year of being the littlest kids on the block. Last year of homework being a brand new thing. At the same time I am so proud of my little girl, and so excited to see her little wings opening, I'm still so wanting to hold on tight for just another minute more. Oh I know, she's only five, and we have a long time left, but I just don't want to blink and miss a minute of it. I have to say, it was very surreal as we put on her long white dress for graduation, watching her eyes sparkle and her mouth break out into a big grin when she twirled, that for a second I felt my world fast forward twenty years, thinking of the next time she'll put on a long white dress, with her eyes sparkling, and a grin on her face as she gets ready to walk down the aisle. Like I said - a surreal moment for me!!
In this moment, while I'm feeling mushy and gushy over my sweet girl, I'm caught up in thinking of all the moments of the past year. Listening to her choose shirt colors for her uniform and watching the kind lady's face take in this adamant five year old: "You can just put the black away. I will not wear black. And no, I will not wear red, I don't wear red. I wear pink. Blue? No thank you, I don't think so. Ok, I guess we could do the light blue, but I won't wear it much. White? Plain White? What else goes on it? You better give me that dress to go over it to cover it up a little bit. I really just like to wear pink." Hearing her bare feet scurrying across the wood floor the morning of the first day of school, as she ran into our bedroom with a "Mama, get up and help me get dressed, I'm going to kindergarten today!"
"My best friend? I don't really have a best friend in my class, I like all of my friends, but a lot of them I can't remember their names yet." "What do I want to be when I grow up? I don't know, right now I'm just learning to write." "Mrs. Ray loves me because I look so cute when I go to school every day." "Mama, do you want me to show you how to write in cursive?" "Can we play I Spy in Spanish this time?" "I want to go to a different school for high school, because at my school, after being there this long, I still don't know where the high schoolers put their backpacks." "Can I please be in the play, Mama, it's going to be Peter Pan, and I think I'm going to be Wendy!" "The best thing Mrs. Ray taught me this year was how to read, because I sure do love to read." "The thing that I am not happy about with going to first grade is that the teacher's name is going to be different because she's getting married this summer."
We made it through this first year of school, with many first, many lasts, many tears, and much laughter. A sweet and special year that I will forever hold on to. As my precious girl walked down the aisle at graduation, and I met her at the end to accept a rose from her, she wrapped her little arms around my neck and squeezed tight. And then, as if she could read my mind, she held on tight for an extra minute, whispering "I love you, Mama, I'm your girl." I'm so glad I didn't blink, because I wouldn't have wanted to miss that for anything.