Yesterday was Natalie's first day of kindergarten. She was so anxious to go. She got a good nights sleep and woke right at 7. She was so business-like when she got up. She put in her breakfast request, "something special like this egg (meaning a hard-boiled egg) and zuchinni bread," and knowing exactly what she wanted to wear, she got dressed right away. She was ready in 15 minutes so we had 45 minutes to bounce around and wait. Charlie and I walked with Natalie to the bus stop across the street and we anxiously waited another 10+ minutes. I was feeling fine about it all, I was very excited for her too! Before the bus came, I hugged her and told her how proud I was of her. I was being all sentimental-like but her eyes wouldn't even meet mine as they were darting around looking for the bus. So I'm not sure she heard a single word I said! And then it came. She wouldn't kiss me because of all the other kids there and she hardly said 'good-bye'. She just walked away from me and climbed those big stairs without ever looking back. And Charlie and I began to cry.
She was out of my control! I wanted to make sure she would have somewhere to sit. I wanted to experience all of this new stuff with her. But I couldn't!
At first Charlie was holding out his arms saying, "Naynay" and I was snapping pictures. Then Charlie put his head in my shoulder and that's when we started to cry. The bus driver asked if we were going to be alright and we laughed about it. She shut the door and drove away with my baby. And as the bus pulled away I noticed Ruby standing in the driveway crying for her sister, too.
We missed Natalie that day. I don't think any of us quite knew what to do. So Ruby and Charlie chose to fight while I walked around biting my nails and looking at Natalie's schedule for the day. Seriously, the day was kind of a blur. I got nothing done that day...didn't lift a finger for anything (except to chew on it!).
But soon it was time for the bus to arrive. She came off the bus like she had been a bus-rider all her life. She has such a quiet confidence about her! She acted nonchalant about the day and I couldn't get much out of her. Gradually throughout the night, she revealed more about her day to us. Some boy killed a cricket at recess (jerk!) and Natalie was upset about it. She ate lunch with Briella and drank all of her chocolate milk. She sat with Molly (one of our 'babysitters in training') on the bus, and she had a cupcake. She made a friend, too, but couldn't remember her name. She said that when she got off the bus at school, she wasn't sure where to go so she stood there and "waited for someone to get me". And someone did! I just wish so badly I could watch her throughout the day! In her backpack was a nice/corny little poem for us parents. I was quickly skimming through it but towards the end, it actually made me cry and laugh in spite of myself. It said something about that it's hard for us to let her go but that she (the teacher) will love her as her own while Natalie is in her care.
My mom took us to the Soft Spot to celebrate and then it was time for Natalie to shower and get to bed. I hardly got anytime with my Natalie Jane that day and she'd be leaving me again tomorrow. That will take some getting used to.
I read this out of my 'Jesus Calling' devotional book this morning (the 2nd day of school) and I feel like it totally coincided with this new school adventure. It read: 'Entrust your loved ones to me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one-as well as yourself..... I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love. When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand. As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them.' I know that it is no coincidence that that was my reading for the day. That is what I want, for God to be in control of Natalie's life as well as the rest of my family. And I want to cling to His hand and for Him to shower blessings on them all.
So it's another milestone in Natalie's life. Another first that has come and gone. But I'm so excited for her to learn and grow and experience this new stage of life. Even if it means I have to let her go a little more.