“That was a looooong day! I thought it would never end.”
That was Anna’s reply to my question about how her first day at school went. So when I unlocked the car door and watched her place her backpack on the seat as slowly as possible, I knew she didn’t expect anything different for day two.
She didn’t say a word as we made our way to Luca’s bus stop. I wonder what Anna must think when she sees that Luca can’t wait to get to class.
On the return trip, and with her older school-loving sister gone, I hoped Anna would talk to me. But when I looked in the rearview mirror, all I could see were two knees pulled up into her chest. Her head faced the window.
Part of me wanted to tell her that her teacher will be happy to see her. Or that she’ll see familiar faces and make new friends this year. But I know Anna, and I know this tactic will backfire. She’ll curl up into a tighter ball where all I can see are the blue soles of her tennis shoes.
We were a few minutes early so I pulled around the corner from her bus stop and into our driveway.
“I need to say goodbye to mom.”
And with those words, she jumped out of the car and ran up the stairs to mom. I decided to stay in the car. The thought of dragging my teary-eyed daughter into class crossed my mind. What will mom tell her that I couldn’t?
Minutes later, Anna ran back down the stairs and got back in the car.
“Did you tell mom goodbye?”
“Yep, and she gave me a hug.”
I guess words were not what she needed to hear.