Hannah had her first day of Kindergarten at Hyer Elementary, on August 27, but I'm not sure how that's really possible. When I purchased her purple My Little Pony backpack (with real hair), I thought there was no way that huge backpack could fit on my baby's shoulders. She cannot possibly stride that confidently up the front steps, purple backpack in tow, when only yesterday she was learning to crawl. How will she ask for help when she's still learning the vocabulary of her life? She can't wait to perfect the monkey bars, but it seems like only last summer that she discovered the blue toddler swing hanging from our tree. And how will she find her way without the companionship of Mary Aldon in her class-her very first school friend and classmate for the last 5 years?
I know my daughter is brave and she is determined. I know she has and always will accomplish so many amazing things. She has an uncanny ability to calm and comfort her sister and to teach her how to play nicely and use good manners. She writes her name beautifully and adds and subtracts in her head. And yet while she's grown too heavy for me to carry her up the stairs of our own house, she's still that tiny baby who loved to eat and loved to read and to listen to the songs her daddy made up for her. She's still that toddler that was so chunky but so tiny at the same time. She's the little girl who had her mommy by her side for every big "first"-her first words, her first steps (oh how much she wanted to keep hanging on to my pinky), her first big bed, her first trip to the beach (when I was convinced she would not go back because she didn't like the thought of dirty sand on her), her first roller coaster ride with her daddy (which quickly became her second and third and fourth and fifth...)
But for this first-her first day of kindergarten, all I could do was walk her to the front door, kiss her, let go, and hope and pray that I have taught her everything that she needs to know to be the most, sweet, compassionate, hard working, determined little school girl that she can be. As I watched through the door of her classroom, she looked both bigger and smaller than she ever has...and quite a bit blurry through my tears of sadness and joy and pride.
After school on the first day, she proudly marched out with her HP Scots shirt on. She saw Mary Aldon and then saw their new principal and they both ran over to get their picture taken with him.