This week I put my daughter on The Bus for the first time. Its a school thing, she's been on a bus before, stop being so literal.
We stood at the bus stop waiting for...any bus to stop (I forgot to check the paperwork for the number - classic). We got there pretty early so we waited quite a while. We chatted. She was very cool and calm. Eventually, too soon, the bus got there and she hurried on. And then without event it pulled away and around the corner.
And that was it. A year of anticipating this new school experience and that was the grand send off. It wasn't grand. It was over. And she was alone now. Facing it all by herself. All the firsts. All at once. All by herself.
Yep, I cried a little. But I hate crying so I took a few big breaths, blinked a few times and starting walking home. And I thought and thought (its kind of a long walk to the bus stop). I wasn't scared for her. That wasn't it. She probably wasn't scared. She probably didn't even feel alone. She has been looking forward to this for a long time. She was probably just soaking it all in. She has a strong curiosity and that would be louder to her than any negative emotion.
But I was melancholy. Was I scared for her? Did I think she wouldn't be emotionally safe? I wasn't worried about "contamination" and I knew it was the right move for right now.
It wasn't all that. It wasn't necessarily about her being gone. I realized I was sad at the hard line that was just drawn in the timeline of our life. This phase of child:girl was over. I'm guessing these cathartic moments happen differently for everyone, but this was ours.
We had been homeschooling together thus far. And, since she is social and chatty, not even a math lesson went by without some question turning into a wandering discussion about values or hygiene or why we don't say that word but her friends do.
Don't tell anyone but on really special mornings we would have coffee together while we started school. Her's was half milk and mostly creamer. It was our way of making school something much more personal and ours.
In a way I feel like I've taken one stop closer to the day she gets married and I hand her off to some relative stranger in whom I do not have all the confidence I would like to have. Its that trusting. Its the handing off to God and fate. Its letting go. I hate it.
Maybe later I'll talk about why we made the decision. It was a big one for us. Its a good story. Its about God and having a calling and an assignment. We talk a lot about Daniel and Samuel. We prayed into it and gave it to God and here's where we are. Its a good story I'd like to tell you one day. But the rest of my time this week belongs to Scout and all the first stories she'll need to tell. She's extroverted, after all, which in my book means "life doesn't happen unless I say it out loud".