The other day I had a moment the likes of which I really can’t recall ever experiencing before. It was the sort of thing that happens in movies where the character is watching a scene unfold and then suddenly, without warning, the scene shifts as you enter the character’s imagination and they are seeing not the present but the future. I had a moment like that.
Let me set the scene for you. Tuesday morning, it is so muggy and hot, Allison’s hair instantly curls into ringlets the moment we get out of the car. I have Molly tucked away in her Tula and we walk together, me and my girls, into the preschool for the first day of school. Allison’s backpack contains exactly the following: 1 folder- purple, 1 butterfly lunchbox. Allison insists on walking in with it on her back but it’s clear that it’s too heavy– that water bottle and ice pack are enough to throw her balance. I offer to help but she replies “I’ve got it”.
We see her friend who is walking with her mother into school as well. This little girl is only the second person Allison has ever identified as “friend” and I’m thankful she’s chosen well in both instances. The girls wave and the moms break out cameras to snap a few quick photos.
Then the moment comes. We continue walking into the building along with other parents as we carry our heavy bags (mine is my purse with camera, Allison’s her backpack) and suddenly I was no longer there, instead I was walking into a dorm room in the middle of August feeling the cold air conditioned air burst forth into the humid summer. We are loaded down with boxes and Allison’s ringlet hair is longer, her body taller yet still just as slender and toned as it is now. She is starting college.
I could feel my eyes start to mist but not because I was dropping my baby girl off at preschool but because I blinked and she was starting college.
And I know. I just know with every ounce of me that I’m going to blink and 15 years will pass and she will be all grown up, the daughter I thought I’d never have, off on great adventures and changing the world one fiery, independent, fiercely loving moment at a time.