on the way in, the jitters started and the words didn’t come out easily — and when they did they vacillated between angry and oh-so-scared. I asked the little one what I could do and it was met with loud, big words of “I do NOT know” with tears filling those beautiful brown eyes. this was big, this new adventure — all of it — and today was the starting line and the journey ahead, right then, just looked so big.
so, instead of talking, I hugged. I held hands and walked beside this little one with words that described our time — my self-narration of our journey to school on this new, first day. I talked about how every day we would get to drive by the horses (of which she tells me there are five) and the farm with the alpaca’s (she tells me the brown one is her favorite). I tell her we’ll park every day in the small Town Hall parking lot and walk over, stopping to say a good morning to the police officer and the crossing guard (they welcome us all with large smiles, warm words and envelop us in their safety). the little one never lets my hand go as we navigate down the small stairs, past the bus monitors who all welcome us walkers and start to round the corner to the front of the school.
and that is where feet become solid with the ground beneath them and the little one decides she can go no further. so this momma pulls her close, arm around shoulder, and asks this “how many people have wished you a ‘good morning’ so far?” (I know she’s been counting, it’s comforting to know the rhythm, to make sense of it all) the little one tells me “three, so far three good-mornings” and I smile. this is where wings are asked to spread – even when it’s hard to do so. so, I say “three, huh? well, let’s see if we can get five before you get to your classroom with Ms D”.
and the little voice says “but I don’t remember where to go to get to Ms D” and this momma says, as is so often said, “there will always be kind people there to help you find your way”
and so we walk into a school where we’re welcomed by warm teachers and a principal who seeks out the little one, greets her with a smile and shakes her hand. we walk, hand in hand, take a left at the wooden bear, past the library she hopes to sneak into today and turn a corner … to see Ms D at her door, just waiting for this little one with such a warm smile and wide open arms.
here’s to hearing all about her adventures this afternoon, and tomorrow afternoon and the many afternoons beyond. this momma can’t wait to hear of new friends, new skills learned and how she gets to choose to buy (on her own!) chocolate milk every day at lunch (as you do when you’re in first grade!). there will be bumps, there will be tears, there will be laughter and so much joy ahead — but that is the beauty of this journey, which we do together, hand-in-hand.