Number 5 had her first day of kindergarten today.
I started preparing her for the emotions she’d be confronted with last night.
Not her emotions. She was fine.
My emotions were another story.
“Are you excited for the bus ride tomorrow?” I asked her.
“YES!” she said, with a big smile.
“I’m just warning you that I’m going to cry when you get on the bus,” I told her. “Like probably a lot.”
“Why are you going to cry?” she asked.
I told her how everything was going so fast and how it seemed like she was just a little baby yesterday and how I was going to miss her so much and how sometimes when you are a mom you just want your kids to stay little forever.
“Mommy,” she said to me. “Don’t cry too much. Everyone on the bus will think I’m weird.”
I told her I’d try to be discreet about it.
This morning as we walked out the door to wait for the bus, she turned around and looked at me.
“Are you crying yet?” she asked.
“Not yet,” I told her. “But it’s coming soon,” I said with a wink.
While we waited in the driveway, we took some silly pictures.
And then I saw the lights of the bus coming over the horizon down the road.
The tears started coming.
I squeezed Number 5 tight.
The bus slowed down.
And then it sped up and flew right past us.
I composed myself.
I straightened Number 5’s hair.
I kept my arm around her.
And a couple minutes later, as the correct bus came to a stop in front of our driveway, I covered my mouth, lost it, and managed to say “Turn around!” as she climbed up the steps to the bus.
I took a picture.
She was a tiny bit hesitant and so pretty and cute and quiet and perfect and grown up.
I cried harder.
So much for being discreet.
Miss P, the bus driver, took one look at me and told her, “Mommy is going to be okay.”
And with that, Number 5 found her seat and the bus pulled away.
I stood in the driveway, bawling.
Number 4 ran out of the house and gave me a hug.
“MOM! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? SHE’S GOING TO COME BACK!!!”
When she realized I wasn’t stopping anytime soon, she ran back into the house, unphased.
I snorted and convulsed my way inside.
I stood in the kitchen crying.
I started to wonder how I was going to pull myself together.
And then Number 7 came tearing into the kitchen.
I was still crying.
I WANT TO ASK YOU A QUESTION!”
“What?” I asked her in between sobs.
“DOES GWAMMY HAVE A VAGINAAAA???”
And just like that, the crying screeched to a halt.
Number 4 and I had a good laugh, and newly composed, I answered all of Number 7’s follow up questions regarding who had a vagina and who had a penis.
Like I’ve said before, sometimes you know just what your kids need.
But sometimes, it’s the other way around.