I left you at school today after a long and relaxing summer. On the way there you stared out your window, quiet. Your face, chin, neck, all straining to find someone you knew as we approached your school. You did, and you walked in with Riley. As I left the parking lot, driving away from you all day, my heart dropped. I felt it. Like a real sensation. A literal pressure of gravity, trepidation, anxiousness. I took a breath and that tightness in my throat, it was there. It didn't well into tears like the day you started kindergarten, but it came back like a habit. Subtle.
There's something so unnatural about giving you away to someone else for hours. I could see it as a bird's eye view in my mind, so many other parents doing exactly the same thing as I was today, last week, next week... giving their babies away for another year. Everyone hopeful, nervous, happy for the opportunity for education, and scared to death.
I used to view kids differently. I used to see them as special. But now I see them as so much more. Now they are someone else's child. Someone else's world. I can only hope that people see you that way and treat you the same.
One day you'll think third graders are so young, such children. But for today, all you see on your horizon is a future of promise. The world is your jewelry box and you only have to pick and choose what you'll have each day. Choose well.
I love you, my girl.