Many, many years ago when the boys would get ready for school, Gabby wanted to join them so badly. All she knew was they left in the morning and stayed gone all day. Obviously they were having fun. As she watched them getting ready, she would race for her Winnie the Pooh backpack and look up at me saying in her adorable little voice, “I go school. too?” She knew I’d smile and say, “Not yet, but soon!”
Soon came sooner than we imagined. I blinked and sent her off to kindergarten. As my last baby, that first day of school was rough but at the same time, she was so happy and full of joy, it was hard to feel anything but excitement for her.
Today I sent her off to her first day of middle school (junior high to most of the county). I think this drop off was harder on me than the kindergarten drop off. In kindergarten, I walked her in. I met her new friends. I knew where she would sit. This time I dropped her off and barely had time to watch her walk away before the carpool line moved forward. I know middle school. I remember middle school. This is the age where your tween slowly starts to pull away a bit as she gains her independence. The true beginning of the teen years start here.
I watched her walk away and whispered a silent prayer that she would enjoy this new journey, that it would treat her kindly, and that she would thrive. My baby is no longer my little baby girl. Oh, don’t get me wrong. She will always be my baby. But I only have to look at her first day of school picture to see that she is no longer my little baby girl.
And I couldn’t be prouder of my girl.