Last night, R said "I'm nervous for kindergarten." She buried her face in Penguini, her lovey.
"It's going to be fine," I said, nonchalantly. This wasn't my first time around this block. And this is R we're talking about, sturdy, fierce, 'I LAUGH in the face of DANGER!' lion-cub R. She's going to love school. I'm going to love thinking my own thoughts for three hours. We're both ready for this.
"Remember you were nervous about camp? And pre-K? And nursery school? And all those turned out ok," I said, turning out her light, tucking her in. "In fact, I remember when you were a baby and we would push you in the stroller to the big school to see G, and you always wanted to stay." In fact, I was now experiencing an urge to tickle her baby belly and blow a big raspberry...
"MOM! That is TOO BABYISH," R pushed me away. "I am NOT a baby."
Suddenly, I had a desperate urge to go back in time.
This morning, R watched as 5th grader G got on her bus, both of them waving and calling out to the other "I love you! Good luck! Have a great day!" and when it was R's turn she put on her backpack, wider than she is, and heavy with school supplies.
"Are you sure you can manage that?" I asked. "It's slippery out, the bag is heavy, I can hold it for you."
"Mo-OM. It's MY backpack." And with that, she and her dad skipped ahead to the bus stop. The only one looking back? Penguini, over Daddy's shoulder. At the bus stop, R handed Penguini over, to take care of Mom.
Bye bye, baby. Penguini and I will be waiting when you get home.