Our routine is in place. Literally, we have mastered it you and me. We go through our evening adventures like seasoned pros these days and morning isn’t much different. I would have never imaged the amount of pride I have in you as a result. And I would have never imagined the amount of sadness I am toying with as a result. None the less, we are here, at another stage in the game of life.
You are six. Not sixteen. Yet, you have an air and a confidence about you that I admire. This morning I got a little taste of the sweet six year old that lives within. You had asked for a double-bun hairdo as you were getting ready. You wanted your hair to look like the play-dough hair you had been playing with for the past twenty-four hours. You were overjoyed, completely thrilled.
Our commute started and quietly from the back seat of Hank (our Jeep) you asked, “What if the boys make fun of me?” At first I didn’t hear you, so we chatted until you were willing to share your moment of insecurity again. Together we discussed that you are fun and funky and awesome and a mini super hero. We talked about the reasons why someone would make fun of your hair. We talked about the girls maybe liking it so much they’d ask their mamas to attempt the same “do” come Monday. We talked about options if you wanted to take the buns out of your hair. By the end of our chat, that moment of insecurity turned to joy and laughter.
We arrived at school and as you often do these days, you told me to drop you off in the parent car line since you are a first grader now and a big girl. I put Hank in park and hopped out to help you with your back pack and give you a good squeeze good bye (I’ll be honest saying good bye to you at school every morning is the absolute hardest thing I will ever do). You wandered slowly as you do and seemed to be looking around, so I stopped driving off and yelled out the window “Doodle, I love you.” You looked for me, it took a moment, but you found me. We smiled and waved at one another and then you seemed content to wander into the playground.
I watched you walk away.
I watched you timidly start your journey into school this morning. At first my heart was breaking, “there goes my little girl”, she is shy and nervous and seems unsure about today. I drove slowly through the loop out of your school that hugs your playground. I watched you fiddle with your backpack and walk even slower. I watched as you set your backpack down in your teacher’s class line.
And then it happened.
You touched the double buns on the top of your head as if to confirm they were secure and then you took off, in a full blown sprint. I saw my heart as it sprinted in its turquoise shirt to the playground where classmates and friends were playing before the bell rang.
All the emotions.
At first I was nervous for you and sad. I was worrying about your insecurity about those buns. I was sad about the abrupt good bye we shared and the lack of confidence I saw as you walked away. I was nervous about your self-esteem as you wandered slowly. And then I realized as you started sprinting that you are incredible. You are independent and kind. You are shy and guarded. You are confident and thoughtful. I realized that you my love master life at your pace and in your way. I love your tender heart and your fierce confidence. Plus I have no doubt that at some point during your school day you took those buns out and put your hair in a ponytail by yourself.
I love watching you walk away.