Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the First Day

one of the last things my dear auntie lee said to me was, "oh sarah. you've always been such a crier."

she was right. it doesn't take much to get me misty. my college roommate pattie could always tell when i was even the tiniest bit sad or on the brink of crying. an antique childhood scar on my face  blazes pink when my eyes tear up or my emotions run high.

as i expected, it was great fun to see the lil' whip play with the trucks, with her to-be friends, and with three painting easels all lined up. "am i an artist?" she asked, enthusiastically. of course she is. as she continued selecting her paints, she declared she was "artisting."

i've been thinking about this day for some time, preparing those school parts that can be purchased, made, and scheduled.  i didn't spend much time preparing my soul for the emotional parts, instead glossing over this transition with vague word choices, like "fun," or "challenging," or even more blase: "something to get through." considering my lack of soul-searching, i didn't sleep the preceding night. i struggled with first day jitters that cluttered my brain with horror stories ranking high with showing up to class naked. none of it was important, and all of it kept me from resting.

so i wasn't my best that first morning. lucky for me, my daughter was shining so brightly she didn't notice the tears streaming down my face as her teachers sang the "goodbye song," marking our cue to hug and depart. she barely noticed as i hurried out the door, distraught, surprised, and a little embarrassed by my unhinged emotions. when we returned home, i splashed cool water on my face, and recognized that age-old mark that has measured my emotions since i was only a couple years older than my daughter, reminding me that even a closeted emotion is not so opaque.

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