Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This is That Moment

When people look back, they always say "remember that time..."

Our summer has been full of moments that will eventually be "that time." Not that I want to be constantly looking backwards or wrestling to hold on to this present moment. We've just had a lot of milestones piling up together.

This sense started when Joe stepped back from his play house creation and said, "Wow, so this is that time I built my kids a playhouse." He was right, it's not something that is likely to happen twice!

Then there was that time Maya discovered she could really truly swim under water. That morning she discovered her tooth was loose - it's not out yet, but it will be soon!

Today was that time I put my baby on the bus.The first time.

Of course, Elle will have her first time too, but it will be different. I'll be less thrown by the bureaucratic hiccup that voided Maya's bus ride home for the first few days. I'll be less overwhelmed by the logistics of a ginormous school. I'll likely be just as emotional, tearing up uncharacteristically at that little face peering out the window of the bus. But by then I will have watched Maya get off the bus safe and happy hundreds of times, so I'll be more certain that kindergarten is a beginning, something new.

Not simply an end to unscheduled days of park wandering and play dough.

So this is "that time" we'll talk about until the warm memory is worn into a highly polished moment.

It's hard to put things up on the blog sometimes, crystallizing them in a way that certainly changes them. Still, I have to share how I stashed Maya's doll in her backpack, the one she's been dragging everywhere all of a sudden. "To keep you company," I assured her. She just grinned at me, "I don't need it, mom. I'm not scared."

And she wasn't. She worried all week about going to school, crossing days off our calender with a shaky hand. But today she was up and dressed by 7:00. She wore pink polka dot tights, a denim skirt with pink flowers, and a pink, ruffled shirt. The purple socks and red headband with a bow added to her whimsical charm.

Joe raced the bus in order to meet her at school. He helped her find her seat and get comfortable. And get us comfortable.

Meanwhile, Elle and I both teared up as the bus pulled away. Me because I could see her heading off to college just as clearly, and Elle because she couldn't see her coming back at all. The whole situation really puzzled her.

She marched inside, sat down next to Anakin, and started talking. "You can be my buddy now," she told him. Then, with a hug, "you are my best friend." Of course, just a few hours later Maya was home, and all was right in our house again.

Elle and I spent the morning making homemade play dough, having a dance party, and playing farm. This kid  has never had so much undivided attention. We are all moving on to something new!


elacorn said...

I wish I had your writing ability! Kayleigh asks me everyday to ride the bus. I'm not there yet :) The picture of you on your first day of school is priceless!!!

Anna said...

Oh my goodness this is a priceless post! Yes, you will be sending her off to college before you know it, so putting these eloquent thoughts down now is so necessary. So many milestones, each precious and ethereal, in that they are here, then gone... Thanks for writing this, I really loved it!


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