Friday, November 2, 2007

She didn't wave

I have to tell you all what happened today. Because it made me sad. And it's silly to be sad. Skippy kind of chuckled at me when I told him this story and gave me the "DO NOT GET SNIFFLY" look of spousal death. But I got sniffly anyway.

Remember the beginning of the school year, just eight short weeks ago? Remember my five year old who didn't want to go into school without mommy, who cried every day for the first week? Who latched onto my leg on the first day and had to be pried off when it was time to go in while I walked away from my big girl struggling not to sob?

Remember my elated blog on the day she decided that maybe school was going okay, and that mommy didn't have to walk her in every day? We've settled into a nice routine, the Banana and I. I drive her up to school in the morning and we pull into the line of cars waiting to drop off other kiddos and I give her one last pep talk about having a good day, listening to her teacher, etc all to a chorus of "Yes Mommys." Then we pull up to the ramp (the school is at the top of a big hill and the kids have to run up a HUGE ramp to get to the door) and I hop out and get her coat zipped and hand her backpack over. Then it's hugs and kisses and she runs off, ALWAYS pausing for a minute to yell "WAVE MOMMY!"

So then I stand there (probably annoying other parents who are dropping kids off with my refusal to move out of the way) while she runs up to the top of the ramp and turns around and waves. A few weeks ago she would wave, and I would wave, and then she would stand there and wait until I had completely pulled away before going into school. I always doubled back after turning around to make sure she had actually gone in. Then things improved. She would wave and I would wave, and she would immediately head inside. I don't know if that had to do with renewed self confidence or the fact that it's started to get chilly or what, but it was an improvement.

Today I kissed her goodbye and she headed for the ramp while I stood next to my open car door, watching her go and waiting to wave. About halfway up the ramp I heard "HI BANANA!" and saw her meet up with a teammate from soccer. I felt a rush of pride that my big girl is making friends. I could see them chatting away like five year olds do as they made their way to the top of ramp.

And then she went straight inside.

She didn't stop. She didn't turn. She didn't wave.

She just went inside.

I should be relieved. I should be happy. I should be proud. And on some level I am all of those things.

But I'm also a little sad.

I mean, she didn't wave.

It's funny when you have moments when you realize that in so many ways, you need your kids as much as they need you.

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