My baby - my sweet little girl - my first born child - only daughter - has suddenly grown up. Right before my very eyes.
And today - today it is official.
Today she began her tenure as a student - walking into the doors of her elementary school for the very first time.
A true 'kindergartner.'
I'm so proud. (And more than just a little bit melancholy...)
Last night Anna carefully chose her First Day Outfit from the selection of uniforms she has prepared and hanging in her closet (including shoes and matching hair bow and socks.) And after she'd brushed her teeth and washed her face, we read several stories; The Night Before Kindergarten, One Smart Cookie, and The Kissing Hand.
I think we both especially liked The Kissing Hand - which is the story of a mama raccoon and her child raccoon who is scared to go off to school - and how she comforts the child by kissing his hand and saying - any time you need mommy, put your hand to your face and feel my kiss.
So this morning we woke Anna up - she got dressed for school, ate her breakfast, and headed out with her brand new backpack.
And boy, was she cute with her little monogrammed outfit and hair bow. (A big huge THANK YOU to Logan for monogramming all of her uniforms!)
We parked and walked into school - stopping to pose for a picture near the entrance to the school - and then made our way to Ms. Peebles class.
I think we're going to love Ms. Peebles!
And then it was time to leave.
I hugged her tight, whispered in her ear that I loved her and was proud of her - kissed her hand - and walked out the door.
All the while feeling tears prick at the back of my eyes.
And I wasn't alone - I saw lots of red-eyed mommies dropping off their children this morning. Even mommies of older kids in higher grades. Even mommies who are typically stoic and don't often show emotions.
It's hard to leave your child in the hands of someone else - even though I know she's safe and secure and learning with professional teachers - it's still hard to walk away from the child you've nurtured and loved since infancy (and before.) And it's hard to see them growing up.
Bittersweet - I suppose that's the word for how I'm feeling today - yet proud beyond comprehension.