I remember her first day of junior kindergarten, she clutched my hand so tightly. It was as though she never wanted to let go.
I sensed the tinge of anxiety and fear of the unknown. There was excitement, but apprehension too.
She was not yet four years old.
I was her world.
I would rush across the highway to be on her side of the bus so I could wave to her again as the bus pulled away.
Back then, she would always look back, press her tiny face against the window and wave goodbye to me. There was always a sense of melancholy. It was a bit like the apron strings were being severed.
I know that cutting the apron strings is inevitable, but I think that neither Little One nor I were ready for that. I questioned whether sending her to school at three years of age was too soon. I wanted to keep her with me for an extra year, but she wanted to be with her cohorts.
A few weeks ago, I sensed a shift. Though we still held hands on our walk to the bus stop, and she still gave me a kiss goodbye in the morning, something changed. Little One, would climb on board the school bus and smile and say good morning to her friends as she walked to the back of the bus.
I would rush across the highway to be on her side of the bus so I could wave to her again as the bus pulled away. This time, she didn’t look back.
Little One has stopped looking back and each time I stand at the end of our driveway, hoping she’d look up and smile and wave as she did before, I would see her chatting with friends and laughing. Never looking back at her mother, standing at the end of the driveway, Little One engaged in conversation with her peers. There I stood, hoping she would see me.
I am extremely happy that she is comfortable and content, and enjoying her time with her friends. She’s growing, thriving, and becoming her own person. At the same time, I can’t help but feel just a tad sad.
She doesn’t look back anymore.