She asked her sister to braid her hair, to approve the first day outfit and “look,” she laughed and smiled as they sat across from one another and ate their breakfast together. She helped carry backpacks and lunchboxes to the car, helped to make sure we had it all. She was the little sister looking up to big sister… she was the elder taking care of the younger.
They took they obligatory first day photographs for mom and made silly faces and precious smiles… but as they hugged and we ventured on our way to school, a piece of my heart went right as I and the youngest kept straight. One set of school gear went in one car, as the other went in mine. One precious daughter buckled up with dad, while the other went with mom. For the first time in 8 years, these two girls were not going to school with the other in tow, somehow. A sad and heart wrenching day for a teary eyed mama and daddy. The giggles and conversation in the car were gone… a piece of our routine, habit and hearts was riding off in a different direction today.
She worried that the other would miss the traditional Junior Joke of the Day on the radio and looked out silently out the window as we drove the normal route. Only one hand held mine as we walked to the door.
She was too quickly out the car, gathering her stuff, walking on her own, into a new building and chapter, without mom or dad walking her in. Independent and quietly confident.
I held it together, but as dad turned right at the light at Drake and Whitesburg, Katie and I waved but my eyes soon filled with bittersweet tears and the last of my babies grew quiet – for the too quick passage of time and summer, for change… another year, another adventure and journey on the way.
As my heart split in two directions this morning, this first day of school, I am once again reminded how quickly time flies and how cherished this family is, these sisters and children of mine. I am so happy to have a collection of photos like these, quick clicks to preserve and remember first days and moments like today. Such love, such memories.
All pieces of my heart.