We had been practicing getting up on time for a week. S was still up a few minutes early. I asked her how she was feeling – excited, nervous, scared, happy? She was all of those things. She didn’t eat much breakfast, so I packed a big lunch for her: turkey on whole grain bread with a little mayo and mustard, a few grapes and carrots, half a slice of banana bread and a couple of cookies. And, of course a special note on a napkin. Since she can’t read yet, I drew an eye, a heart and a letter “u.” Then I signed it with all of our names. I carefully placed everything in her Hello Kitty lunch bag and set it next to her pink Lalaloopsy backpack with her water bottle. She picked out her outfit. She wanted to wear her sky blue dress with the butterflies and beads on it. Since it only has spaghetti straps, she decided to wear a pink cardigan as well. We brushed her hair and tucked a sweep of it in the plumeria barrette her Aunt E got her in Hawaii. Daddy and Baby R gave her hugs and kisses and well wishes, and she and I walked down the driveway and across the street.
Her best friend, P, who lives two doors down was also making his way across to the sidewalk. His mom and dad and I were surprised how quickly S and P sped along. As we approached the street in front of the school, an elderly crossing guard bade us good morning. We curved along the sidewalk that wound around the drop-off circle drive, and P and S held hands so they wouldn’t lose each other. Already learned their first lesson of the year.