Be still my heart. My baby girl went off to second grade this morning:
Please notice the owl backpack and lunch box:
"Baby girl, you know that Daddy and I love you and are so proud of you. Nothing you could do would change that."
"I know, Mom."
"And you know we don't send you to school to be the best or the smartest."
"I know. You send me to learn and to learn to learn."
Even as a felt that surge of "she gets it," I fought the lump in my throat. "That's right, baby, and I am so very glad you know that. We also send you to learn how to be part of the Universe. We send you so that you can practice learning from other people, practice listening to other people, practice being kind.
"You remember how you were a little nervous the first day of boot camp, and the big girls helped you. They made sure you had a friend and they made you feel better. Sometimes, you have to be the big girl."
"But, sometimes it's scary to be the big girl, Mom. What if I don't know what to do?"
"Then you just do the very best you know how at that moment. You do the next right thing. And if you don't know what the next right thing is, you talk with your teacher. And when you get home, you talk with Daddy and I and we will help you figure it out. We will always be here to help you figure it out."
She snuggled in with Baboo, and she still looked little. She was a little nervous about second grade, but she was also excited. She just needed to know the anchor was still there.
This morning, I walked her to her classroom and helped her get settled and she looked so very grown up. She was all smiles when I looked back through the doorway. She was happily coloring her owl, Hello Kitty pencil box in front of her and fresh crayons tipped out just enough to see the colors. I fought the lump and didn't cry until I was safely in the van. I think our owl is in for a fabulous year, and I couldn't be any more proud of the person she is becoming.