I watched her this morning, standing in line. she was wearing her new pink converse high tops and so proud to be carrying her hello kitty backpack and lunchbox. wide-eyed and quiet like the rest of the children she stood next to, waiting to walk inside the old brick school to start her very first day of kindergarten. just thirty minutes earlier, she had been giggly and excited but now she was quiet. she glanced back at us and I felt at once a mixture of panic and pride. I felt I might run screaming towards her for one last hug, one last pep talk. instead, I stood silent, watching and waving, smiling. the air was balmy and thick (even at eight in the morning) and my skin was beginning to feel sticky. I could feel my eyes getting all watery and I looked down so she would not see this. there she goes, I thought. off into the big bad world. and I prayed that she would make at least one friend today, that she would have no encounters with mean kids, that she wouldn't feel so scared and unsure.
I am counting the minutes until 2:45.