Expectations and Milestones

 

I expected tears. And clinging.

And begging. "Please don't go!"

I expected feet stomping and balled up fists and squinty-mad eyes to delay the process. After all, it's worked before.

Today is Buttercup's first day of kindergarten here in Arizona. And I expected hell and mood swings and hand baskets. We may have two years of preschool under our belts, but that was different. She had supervised potty trips and only 12 kids in her classroom and the school day was only three hours and the school week was only four days.

This? Today? It's the big time, people. This is elementary school with independent trips to the bathroom and 24 friends to make and a full day of school that starts before 8 a.m. and a school week like the big kids where they go Monday through Friday like the days Mommas and Daddy's work because that's what big kids do.

This time it's different because it's kindergarten and that's a major milestone and her having asked me sweetly if I could please sleep next to her last night, maybe because she wanted to gather the courage she needed to draw from today as she slept in my arms, is probably why the unexpected happened instead.

I expected tears this morning when she waved at me as she walked into her classroom with her first day of school outfit and her new big kid back pack and an entire day to learn and explore and experience. But I was surprised. As the door closed behind her, I was beaming, proud of my growing girl, and walked back to my car.

I hadn't shed a tear.