I crawled out of bed this morning at 6:30 am to find her—already dressed—in the bathroom brushing her teeth. Her shoes were on, her hair was combed, and she smiled at me around her pink, plastic toothbrush. “Good morning, mama,” she said, “Are you all ready?”
I made her breakfast. We looked at some of her baby pictures. We watched a couple of videos from when she was a baby and giggled at her squeaky baby-voice.
We walked into the school holding hands, something that I am always conscious of and grateful for. She is a Big Girl now, but she still holds my hand. Ruby is so tall and so beautiful and so smart. She is such a kid now, but I can’t ever imagine her hand not feeling like a baby’s hand inside mine. This morning, she dressed herself, groomed herself, fed herself, and yet the bones in her soft little hand still felt like tiny bird’s bones to me. I wonder if they always will.
We walked into her classroom. She signed in, chose a cubby, and immediately sat down at a little round table with another girl. I hugged her, kissed the top of her head, and told her to have the best day. As I was walking out of the classroom, Ruby stood and started to come with me. I saw the recognition on her face; that she had just stood up to follow me out of habit. Because we go everywhere together. She faltered for a second, then waved at me and smiled. “Have a good day, mommy!” she said, “I’ll see you tonight!”