Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The First Day

The first day of Kindergarten, I cried like a baby. The first day I dropped her off at middle school, pessimism and a busload of anxiety consumed me. On the drive home, I cried – and I cried hard. Today, as I walked home from taking that "first day of school" photo, I’m not quite sure how I feel. She looked so beautiful this morning. Her hair carefully coiffed. Her outfit nothing short of stunning.

God bless whoever invented those jeans that pull on like leggings! No zippers. No buttons. For the first time in her life she wants to wear jeans. And, for the first time – ever – she wore them to school.

To high school.

My baby is in high school.

I should be sitting in my armchair, with a huge cup of coffee and a large box of tissues, bawling my eyes out right about now. I mean, the next “jump” – if she makes it – is college. But I have yet to shed one salty tear. Sure, high school is an emotional roller coaster. No, it wasn’t perfect for me, but it was an incredible part of my childhood. The best part, even. I met people who would forever impact my life – in a positive way. One whom I saw just a few months back. One who is serving as a visual reminder to my daughter that no matter what this road named “high school” lays ahead, there are incredible promises beneath its surface. And I hope she can find them. And I hope she holds onto them. For if she does, when the winds of adulthood blow, she’ll have those memories, and maybe even friends, to cling to.

Sure, a good high school experience is no guarantee. Maybe the lack of tears now will be shed tenfold a few months later. Kids can be cruel.

But for now, I’m choosing to cling to optimism. She has such a bright future ahead of her, and today, more than ever, it truly is within her grasp.

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