On Starting Kindergarten ... and Riding the Bus

Bus

My sweet Autumn Grace,

You are starting Kindergarten today! I can hardly believe we are already at this place ... and yet at the same time I'm not sure I ever thought today would come. I'm not even sure you starting Kindergarten is what I'm so emotional over today ... I think it's the fact that you rode the bus.

I knew sending you to Kindergarten would be hard - but I thought I'd still be in control of getting you to school. I thought I'd be able to take you myself. Give you a hug. Pass you off to your teacher. Say goodbye and get in my car to drive back home. But that's not what you wanted. You wanted to ride the bus. You were SO excited to ride the bus ... and man - I wasn't prepared for that.

This may be our biggest milestone yet. You were so brave getting on that bus this morning. I saw the nervousness in your eyes, but you stepped right up like you've been doing it all your life. You - my sweet baby that wouldn't even go to the nursery at church - you rode the bus. You are teaching me so much about being brave when you're scared. About just putting one foot in front of the other to do the things you know you need to do. About letting your excitement fuel you when you're feeling nervous and scared. About having faith that you will be taken care of. And about knowing how to speak up for yourself when you need to.

And when you weren't even on the bus 5 minutes, you told the bus driver to make sure not to hit your daddy who was riding his bike to the train station. You are only 5 ... and yet you are such a leader. 

I'm so very proud of you my sweet girl. So proud of the independent little lady you are becoming. The independent little lady you already are.

Your Daddy and I have tried to live our lives in such a way that we give you two gifts as you grow up ... one is roots and the other is wings. Today was a good indication that we're doing a good job.

But I can't say I was quite ready for you to use those wings to fly.

My heart swells with pride and love for you my sweet Autumn Grace. We've come a long way from bouncing on an exercise ball at naptime ...