2 b : a noteworthy happening
Today my youngest daughter, K, started Kindergarten. Our family has been anticipating this day for months - from the panic of losing her school acceptance letter to buying school supplies to eagerly planning what I will do with all of my time alone. Today was the big event.
But, honestly, it felt a bit like any other day. I dropped the girls off at school, came home, worked on some stuff for the art teacher and mopped the kitchen floor. Not an earth-shattering event, by any means. Hardly even a noteworthy happening.
K was excited to go to school this morning. Last night, she met her teacher and her recent ambivalence evaporated. She hugged her teacher, explored the classroom, looked at her name tag, chose her favorite floor pillow. Today, she was vibrating with excitement. While J and I were still bleary eyed and in bed waiting for the snooze to expire on the alarm, K tromped upstairs, already dressed for school. She had no hesitation about telling J or I good-bye in the classroom:
When I leaned down to kiss her good-bye, I said, "Have a good day and remember to obey Mrs. M."So today wasn't really the event or the pivotal change I've been anticipating. Instead, I think that will happen in the days to come. The novelty of school will wear off. The joy of choosing special school clothes will turn in to the job of choosing from only standard school attire. The excitement of doing things the way Mrs. M says will give way to a desire to do things her own way. And, slowly, bit by bit, this will be the event: my five year-old will grow up. She will change from a little girl into a bigger girl. One more self-sufficient. More in control of her emotions. More quintessentially K.
"Which one is Mrs. M?" K said, questioningly, looking around the room populated with parents. I pointed out her teacher and K nodded, then returned to making her fruit loop necklace.
"I love you," I reminded her.
"Love you, too," she replied, without looking up.
One day, I will look at her and marvel that she once was so small. One day, I will smile as I recall the momentary insanity that made her decide to cut her own hair to "look like a boy" less than twenty-four hours before she began school for the first time. One day, I'll realize life is not really about the events. It's the little things that change us all.