I wave bye to my identically dressed daughters staring at the road long past the time it took for the car to disappear from sight. I walk back reluctantly, slowly. Last days like first days are momentous. They bring back memories. They run like montages at the back of your mind intruding into your consciousness as you go about your day. First piece of artwork. First mother’s day memento. Hand prints. Paintings. Celebrations. Annual progress reports. Each year adds on to the years gone by. They serve as markers to visualize how our children grow up. From being fed in bottles to carrying lunch boxes. From diapers to big kid underpants. From wearing what I set out to picking out their own clothes. They now stand at the fringe of real world. A place where they can no longer be as sheltered as they were. A world that may or may not be kind to them.
I count down time today. In a few hours, I will take to the road to join them as they bid adieu to a place they have known and loved over the years. I feel emotional. My mind replays the to-do list as I get ready. Take pictures. Thank every one. Clean up cubbies. Remember to leave nothing behind. How does one go about thanking an institution that has been phenomenal in shaping young minds?
Sorry. Please. Thank you. Magic words that effortlessly sneak into the twins vocabulary. It is in all the little things. Not the alphabet. Not the numbers. It’s the behavior. The ability to pause and reflect. The instinct to stand up and shield. The soft skills that the girls exhibit that make me feel grateful to the school and the teachers.
I glance at the baby monitor. Soon, she will follow in her sisters’ footsteps. Perhaps today is not a period but a comma.