|First Day at Kindergarten, aged 3 3/4|
I'm the friend who dropped out of social events in the evenings because she had a baby/toddler/little girl at home. Only now there's no little girl at home. Only an almost teenager who looks remarkably like a young woman.
I look at the school opposite our house and down the road and it's no longer our school after eight long years.
I took DD to the kindergarten when she was still 3. It was two year groups together and the twins who 'adopted' her were almost 6. She was tiny and a bit like the mascot of the kindergarten.
In 1st Grade I had to take her into the classroom every day and wait for the bell. Some days the Headmistress had to prize her off me saying, "A kiss from Mummy and in you go." What she meant was - off you go Mummy and be quick about it.
By 2nd Grade I was leaving her at the school gates and watching her run inside.
In 3rd Grade she wanted me to stop half way down the road and let her walk the last bit with her friends. I watched until she'd gone through the school gates.
By 4th grade I only had to see her across the road.
In 5th grade she went by herself, carefully crossing the road as I watched from the balcony and waved. She got her own front door key for the days that she arrived home before me.
In 6th Grade I often had to go to work early, leaving DD to lock up and go to school. Three times a month she was the supervisor for the crossing guard.
I tried to send her to bed tonight. I don't know what I was thinking. "Good luck with that," she replied, "No school until September remember."