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    Posted September 4, 2012 by
    Locust Valley, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First day of school photos

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    Bus Stop Waterfalls


    So my fourth and final princess boarded the Big Yellow Bus today. She's off to her first day of Kindergarten. And I did what all good moms and dads do on that first day of school. I smiled. And breathed deeply. And held back the tears till her little legs ascended the steps and her little hand waved at record speed out the window she could barely see out of. I don't even know if she waved actually. I think she was too busy looking at her backpack on the floor. But her little friend Sienna waved. With a smile that said, "I'm ready world! Bring it on!"


    Sienna's mom is a first time Kindergarten mom. Which is the best kind of friend to have when you're a veteran. Because my camera battery ran out while I clicked some pics up by the house. So the first steps up the bus steps almost didn't get captured. But you know me by now. I'm not afraid to ask for help. Directions. Chocolate. Did you read my latest Blog? You get my point. So, I asked her to click one for me. And she snapped three or four. :) It all worked out. I got my photos. My friend is well on her way to being a Super Hero!


    When the yellow bus drove off and out of sight, I turned to my friend. "Are you gonna be okay?"


    Without words, we embraced in a hug that squeezes life into me and squeezes a little sadness out. Bittersweet moments are just that. Bitter and sweet. So excited for our little girls to go off to a new adventure. Together. And so aware that time stops for no one. So many of life's transitions require us to let go. And let live.


    When we loosen our death grip on each other, her eyes glisten and a little conversation about Russell Crowe's new movie being filmed nearby at the Planting Fields helps distract from the anticipated moment that just passed. As we part ways, vowing to keep an eye out for Russell around town, I walk up my hill alone, keenly aware that I'm free.


    No more diapers. No more potty training. No more half days. No kids to drive to pre-school. I have almost seven hours a day for me. I'm thrilled and terrified. As a newbie writer, this is a dream come true. As a last time Kindergarten mom, I'm in pieces.


    I thought for sure I wouldn't cry this time. But doubt floods my heart. Did I do enough to prepare her? Did I fill her with enough words daily to remind her that, "She is kind. She is smart. She is beautiful?" Did I read to her enough?


    I remember like it was yesterday when I dropped Hannah, Princess#1, off for her first day of school at the bus stop. On the walk back up the hill to my house, I cried so hard, I nearly ran into the guy who works at the nursery at the bottom of the street. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "She's gonna be fine. She'll do great."


    I nodded, unable to speak. All I could think was, she's not the one I'm worried about. And she was great. She had the best first day of school. So did the next two princesses. Well, the third accidentally ate her lunch at snack time, but the teacher bought her lunch, so it was an exciting adventure after all. And I'm sure when Sarah comes home, no matter what happens today, she'll have a story to tell. Her story. And the stories will just keep coming. It's her turn to fill the pages of her book. One chapter at a time.


    I might have forgotten to charge the camera. I didn't make pancakes for breakfast. And I'll probably get a note about the running shoes she's wearing, slip-ons, not laced or velcro like the supplies list required. But I did remember to do one thing before kisses.


    Just as the bus pulled up, I pulled my three princesses toward me. "Quick girls. Huddle." They moved in closer. "Dear Jesus, be with the girls today as they start this new school year. Help them to know that every step of the way, you are with them. Amen."


    I'm aware more than ever that I cannot hold any of their hands every step of the way. That's not my job description. I'm supposed to help them learn to walk and then let them walk. And Run. And Fly!


    Fly baby girl Fly! It's your time. Hugs and kisses will be waiting for you at the bus stop come three o'clock. And maybe even brownies! :)

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