On a Monday morning in late August nearly five years ago, I dropped this sweet babe off at daycare. She was just six weeks old, because that’s as much time as I was permitted away from work.
She stayed home with Mr. G two days a week. For six months, I visited her on my lunch hour three days a week to nurse her. After that, I continued to visit at lunch from time to time, until coming and going became to hard for her.
We had lots of transitions. Moving to Arizona was a tough one for her. Lots of clinging and tears at drop-off. For various reasons she’s been in five schools already in her five years. When we decided to move her the last time, for Pre-K, we hoped to be able to keep her there for kindergarten, to have some consistency for her. She spent much of the summer at her current school. She’s comfortable, and she’s confident. On the first day of kindergarten, Mr. G and I walked her to the playground. She lined up with her class and, almost as an afterthought, turned to wave at us when the bell rang and they started walking to the classroom.
The second day of school, she wanted to be dropped off at the curb in front of the school. She hopped out, grabbed her backpack, told me to have a good day. The cars in front of me pulled away. I sat there watching her, to make sure she went to the front door. The school staff was waving me forward, the parents behind me growing impatient. But all I could see was that little babe, in many ways – and all too quick – so grown up. But still my baby.