So there we were, getting ready for school this morning when my dear daughter says, “I wish I could just leave my hair like this.” Now it must be said that I am one of those neurotic moms who always put their daughter’s hair up for school. But today, I felt her need to be heard and decided to allow her to leave her hair down.
So we walked up the street to the school, her mood almost jovial. As her friends joined us on the line, I noticed that she was getting compliments on her hair. I said nothing. But she turned to me and beamed.
Then they all started chatting about the Olympics and I realized that I didn’t have to stand there, hovering over her. So I wished her a great day and she hugged me. I backed off and watched her line from the sidewalk for a moment.
Before they went in, she looked for me and gave me the secret sign that we made up to say “I love you” when it wouldn’t be cool to shout the words to each other. I was beaming inside as I gave it right back.
I realize that the days of my standing anywhere near her line are coming to a close, not today or this month. Maybe it won’t be for another year. But I know that I am sending a beautiful, confident little girl out there, and I feel better about it.
It hurts to know that the little girl – who would cling to her dad or grandma or aunts but, in the end, would always run to me – is growing up. Where does it hurt? Kind of all over, but mostly right in the center of my chest.
So I walk home, doing our little sign again, and hope that she’ll feel that extra hug.
Peace & painlessness,