My favorite first-day-of-school picture is a little, erm, non-traditional.
We did the whole front porch photo thing, but really Greta and I were just so very sad as we watched the yellow bus drive away. Greta was wailing that she wanted her sissy, and I was nostalgic about so many things I don’t even have the words.
I vividly remember watching Maren and Greta playing in their nightgowns in the basement until lunchtime on the first day of summer. They were so smitten with each other, with free time, with play, with whimsy. I was so smitten with the whole darn scene. Perfection, I thought. We filled the summer with what I remember as my own childhood icons: puppet shows, Uno, swim team practice, blanket forts, Lego cities and popsicles.
School brings good things: hustle, bustle, structure, new friends, organization, crisp new things, growth, challenge. It’s all good. Maren and Greta love school; I loved school. It’s all good.
There’s still just that ache as my baby steps away: she’s growing. She’s off. She’s on her own. I’m so proud of who she is.
But there’s also the big-I-missed-you-hugs at the end of the not-really-that-long day. Those hugs are some of my favorite hugs.
On the very first day of school, Brad had a brilliant idea: “Let’s go to our local amusement park when Maren gets home.”
So we did. Homework, schmomework.
We whooped and we hollered and we threw our arms in the air. Well, I did. Apparently Maren hung on for dear life.
Greta has grown enough that she, too, is now tall enough for her very first roller coaster ride. It’s called The Beastie in our house because that’s what it was when I was a little girl and why do they feel the need to re-name the rides? Greta loved it. So much so that when we finished she cried, “Again, again!” and so we did because there were no crowds. Can you see how proud she is that she’s big enough?
And later the girls rode the Whip It’s. It’s my favorite ride to watch them on because when they whip around the corners they giggle in that out-of-control hysterical kind-of-way. Little girl laughter is one of the very best sounds in the world.
Milestones come and go. I’m so proud we did this one with gusto and giggles.