Today was another in a series of firsts- the first day at a new school and the first day my daughter rode the school bus. I know, nine is a little old for the first time on the bus thing, but we've never lived where she went to school before. She's always depended on me or her grandma to take her to school.
This morning, I watched her climb aboard and into a little independence (and, I'll admit, died a little inside). My little girl is not so little anymore, and I guess when you get to nine years old, it's not as cool if you wave to your mom or she blows you kisses as you drive away- apparently, it's just embarrassing- so I refrained. She seemed okay, mostly just a little nervous since the neighbor didn't get on the bus with her. I think it was harder for me, really.
My husband has said he doesn't get why I always take the first day of school off from work every year. It's for this: the first time all summer when I get a day of peace, all to me, but it is bittersweet. In the same moment, I am forced to remember that time slips away; as I age, she slowly grows up and further away from me. The first day of school is as much about beginnings as it is the ending of another year of her childhood.
I take the day off to mourn that loss.
This is the good kind of lonesome though- the setting-free-the-things-you-love kind. Can't wait till she comes home and tells me all about the rest of her firsts, today and in the future. The dog and I will be happy for the break to the silence.