You start first grade in a few hours. You chose a backpack covered with different colored stars and asked me to put chicken noodle soup in your new thermos for lunch today. Your clothes are laid out; brand new pink Mary Janes and a sparkly shirt. For weeks you've been telling me that you're nervous about this new year, but last night as I tucked you into bed you looked into my eyes, tucked your fists under you chin and told me I'm so excited for first grade.
We have had such a good summer. You learned to really swim and how to tie your shoes. We camped, floated rivers, spent time on the lake with grandparents, welcomed lots of our family for a week here, a weekend there. I will miss hearing you slowly thump down the stairs in the morning after the sunlight was woken you, wrapped in your blanket, your body still warm and heavy with sleep when I hug you and tell you Morning, Bird. I will miss slowly easing into another warm summer day with you.
I know that I will think of you all day long. I will try to picture you crossing the monkey bars at recess, or sitting beside your friends during lunch. And I will wait for the big yellow bus to bring you home to me this afternoon. I'll want to hear all about your first step into this new year.