Monday was Leila’s first day of school. Her first day at a big school. Her first day in HISD. Her first day being gone all day. The night before I asked her how she felt. She told me felt excited and nervous. I agreed.
Up until drop-off, I was so preoccupied with all of the forms and uniforms and tuition and lunch and getting tiny containers to hold the lunch and getting cool packs to keep the lunch cold and figuring out where to buy a nap mat and washing all the water bottles and wondering what I was forgetting and then actually getting to school on time, that it wasn’t until I said good-bye that I felt a big choke in my throat. I held it together, for her, and out of the good-old fashioned fear of what the other grown-ups would think of me, but I could not wait to pick her up and hear all about this momentous day.
I was giddy at all she could recount to me. She told me what she ate for lunch and what she liked (pita chips and hummus) and what she didn’t like (my homemade “cookies” that were actually just a handful of ridiculously nutritious ingredients) and how many times she played with other kids and that they couldn’t go outside because it was raining (they were supposed to go outside after lunch, which she told me was the “one thing” that was similar to her old school where they played outside after snack).
“I saw you at pick-up line,” she told me.
“Yes, I didn’t want you to be nervous I wasn’t there,” I said.
“I wouldn’t be nervous you weren’t there.”
And I exhaled a big sigh of mama relief.
We could both handle this.