In one week, we'll once again walk to halls of our local elementary school, waving to friends and acquaintances while catching up with the latest tales of summer vacation. The familiar smells of construction paper and glue will remind us of days past, and we will once again be giddy with excitement and anticipation of the year ahead. We are used to this scenario...but this time, it will be different.
This year, as I walk my oldest daughter to the second grade building, we will take a small detour while dropping off her little sister to her kindergarten class. This year, everything will be different.
Emma feels like she owns Talbot Elementary School already. She has spent a good fraction of her life mingling within the beige colored concrete walls, as we have tried to be apart of the school as much as possible in the past 2 years. She was 3 years old when she started trying to keep up with her sister and all the other big kids as they participated in the morning ritual of running during the school's "morning mile". A tiny 3 year old, whose itty-bitty legs could barely run one lap...yet a determined toddler who continued to try to keep up with the rest.
As a 4 year old, she carried Abby's backpack on her back all the way to her big sister's classroom most mornings...trying so hard to look like she belonged among the grade schoolers. The bottom part of the backpack landed under her rear as she wore it on her back, and it was always quite comical to see her trying to act so old.
And in one week, she will walk the corridors of the school she has known and loved for 2 years...only this time, she will indeed belong there. She will walk her tiny self into a classroom she is already all too familiar with and into the arms of a teacher she already loves, as she has been blessed to have Abby's kindergarten teacher as well...the one she has begged to have for the past 2 years. She will soon be indoctrinated into the land of fiskar scissors, lined paper, PE, and centers. She will soon realize how quickly she is required to eat at lunchtime, thus practically starving for the first month of school...if I know my extremely slow eater at all. She will soon make new friends and learn new rules and feel so much older while walking through the halls with the "big kids".
My little Emmabear will soon be a kindergartner.
So why can't I get the image of her chubby-cheeked babyness out of my head?