"Have your hanky with you when you drop her off," my mom said. "Kindergarten is a big one."
"Hmmm." I washed another pot.
"Or, maybe you won't cry like I did. She's been in school for a while now, so maybe you're more used to it..." she trailed off.
"Yeah. I think so. We're more used to it."
But. Here I am. Saturday night, bawling my eyes out, thinking of Addie in School-school--not preschool, not daycare, but real-deal school--starting Monday morning. Imagining putting her on the bus. Imagining her new life, rough and exciting and private.
I sneak in to take a look at her asleep. Like usual, she's stripped down to her underwear, covers thrown off, a hot sleeper, just like her dad. Her limbs are spread out over the whole bed, a baby giraffe's limbs, thin and all angles. Her ribs show. Her hair covers her face. She breathes quietly, not like when she was a baby, a toddler, gasping for air for so long. Us, somehow not knowing anything was wrong until the teachers called us in for a meeting. "We have to put her bed at an angle," they told us. "So she can breathe. We think you should see another doctor."
And today, her crawling all over the boulders in Clear Creek with her buddy Cole. Me calling out to her to be careful, explaining to our friends that her balance is off, that she falls easily. But she doesn't. She angles out and over them fine, big strong girl.
So what's all the crying about? What's my heart doing here, outside of my chest again, like when my girls were babies? Why so raw?
Maybe because I've fought for so long to separate from Addie, to have her grow up and get "my" life back (forgetting how much she and her sister are my life), and now she has her own, and I find myself reaching after her. And she just eludes my grasp.
I'm being overly literary. Too dramatic. It's not all that. It's just School.