Don’t be alarmed….they weren’t Ella’s tears on the first day. They were mine. Let’s go back two years. The first day of Kindergarten when she was terrified to enter the big bad elementary school. That year she had me walk her in every day, help her put her stuff away, and then escort her outside or to the cafeteria. We never went without several hugs and kisses and “I will miss you’s”.
Now let’s forward to 1st grade. The fear of the big school was replaced by excitement as she walked hand and hand with me into the school. Every day after that, she insisted I walk her all the way to her classroom, help her unload her backpack and then take her down the hall to where her friend was hanging out. I would get at least one hug & a kiss. I won’t lie, there were days that I would try to persuade her to “be a big girl” and walk in on her own. I was usually rushing to work and wanted to save time. Alas, we did the walk every single day.
I regret complaining about that walk last year. The reason- it doesn’t exist this year. The first day of school I walked Ella in with all of her supplies and she gave me a quick hug. Day 2 I asked her if she wanted me to walk her in and she replied “no thanks, I’m good”. I did get a big hug and a kiss. Today I pulled up and started to get out to give her a hug goodbye and she said “what are you doing?” My heart broke. My little girl became that “big girl” I was begging her to be last year and didn’t need mom to walk her in or even give her a hug. I started to get back into the car and then turned around and grabbed that little 7 year old and gave her a huge hug and kiss. I told her there was no way we were going to start the day without that tradition. She agreed and then off she went through the front doors.
I get now why people say “enjoy the moment” or “be patient” because they won’t be little forever. It’s a hard lesson that I will have to learn I’m sure many more times as my baby becomes a “big girl”.