Today the dreaded day arrived - Grumbles started school. For the last few weeks I have been a mess of conflicted emotions. On the one hand I am thrilled that she is going - I know she is ready, and she will blossom and grow and learn at such an amazing rate that I am sure I will stand there with mouth gaping open at her speedy progress.
On the other hand I've never been separated from her so thoroughly before. The thought of her being out there in what can be a cold cruel world makes me want to dash into the classroom and bring her home, clasped in my loving arms as I extole loudly the benefits of homeschooling. Such has been my anxiety on her behalf that I have spent the last week or so with guts churning, shitting battery acid several times a day at the very thought of anything happening to her without me there to protect her.
As we walked to the school this morning she broke into a delighted run as she caught sight of the school building. The little tiger couldn't wait to get in there and begin the next part of her life, and despite my breaking heart I hitched a brave smile on to my face, kissed her goodbye and walked out of the classroom and left her alone on her life's path, a path I know she will tread with courage and compassion, with joy and love, with kindness and stubborness, and with wisdom and faith that every step she takes is one in the right direction.
I've spent the last five years holding her hand. Every clasp of her tiny warm paw has been an honor, but now it's time for me to let go. As my Dad says, like his mother before him, "you only get a lend of them." And despite my fears, my little girl is ready to walk on alone.
I'm so proud of you, Grumbles, my love. So very, very proud.