Today was the big day. Both girls woke up excited and the mama woke up out of sorts. I went into Sugar’s room at 7:00 am and told her it was time to get up. She popped out of bed and shouted, “First day of school!” She got ready and made her bed without the constant reminders I usually have to make. Yes, I know it was only the first day and I’m sure to become a broken, screaming record before long.
Even though I was going to the middle school to sign the banner that would hang in the cafeteria for the school year, I brought Sugar to the bus stop so she could ride with her friends. Finally this year, she gets to ride in the back of the bus and didn’t want to miss the opportunity. I watched her get on the bus, then sat in traffic. The ten minute ride took 20. I arrived and immediately found Skinny Bitch. She brought her daughter, so she didn’t have to wait for a bus to arrive. We left the cafeteria where all the kids were waiting and went to sign the banner. As we were leaving to come back, BFFL’s mother told me that she had just seen Sugar. We went back to the cafeteria and I looked around. My stomach got more and more upset when I didn’t see my girl. Finally, there was an announcement for parents to leave, yet Sugar was still nowhere to be found. I was near panic mode when one final bus showed up, and there was my smiling girl. We talked for a moment, but her body language told me not to dare reach out for a hug. I wished her a good day and left the school. I made it to my car before I cried.
I got home to find Spice anxious to leave. She asked if it was time to go, asked if it was time to get dressed. I told her we had HOURS to wait. She settled down a bit and watched TV and helped me clean and pack her snacks, but her mind was focused on the exciting day ahead. Finally, I told her she could get dressed. She shouted, “This is the best day of my life!” Suddenly it was time to leave and I could barely make myself go. Damn these kids for growing up so fast.
She was excited all the way to school then suddenly panicked as we stood outside the school waiting for the doors to open. She wouldn’t smile, talk or pose for pictures. The doors opened and the kids started going in. The parents were left behind smiling through their broken hearts. Our girl didn’t want to go and had to be urged along. As she walked up the path, she must have forgotten we were watching and she started skipping. I knew all was going to be ok with her.
I’m not sure when exactly I noticed the family standing next to us. There was a tiny little boy with red hair, crying like he’d never see his mama again. She was kneeling down in front of him, hugging him tightly. But that’s not what caught my attention. What caught my eye was the smiling sibling standing with them. The smiling sibling that has obviously been undergoing extensive medical treatments for something. He was completely bald and had that pallor that comes along with chemotherapy treatments. The smiling sibling looked so happy for his brother, getting to head off to school. I told EN that I needed to leave. All I could think was, “Thank God my girls are healthy enough to go to school.” I don’t know that family, their circumstances or the battles they face. I could have totally misread the scene, but my heart broke for them all the same.
We arrived back home for the meeting with the realtor to take pictures and measurements, the final step in listing the house. I realize it was our choice to sell this house, but oh how it pained me to see her walking through, snapping pictures. Never have I lived in one place for so long before. If I didn’t know it already, it was clear to me that the day we leave this house for the last time, it will be painful.
I’m not the crying mom. I generally send my girls off on their adventures with a big smile. Sometimes that falters a bit on the inside but not often. I don’t know what came over me today. Maybe it was too much, too many changes all at once. I was very relieved when we picked the girls up from the bus stop and both were thrilled about their respective days. Sugar loved everything and everyone, Spice still proclaimed it The Best Day Ever. I smiled and laughed with them, but was sad inside. Never again will they be this little…
On a separate note, let’s all wish Skinny Bitch a very happy birthday. That’s her saving grace and why I’m friends with her. She might be skinnier and nicer, but she’s older and it’s important that we all respect our elders. Big smoochie kisses, Skinny! xo