I could hear her in the back seat of the van,
the sweet notes of her voice reaching right into my heart.
She was reading from a book of letters
that her first grade class had written to her this week.
"I will miss you soooo much!"
"You are the best friend I have ever had in my whole life!"
"Have fun with your new friends, but don't forget about us!"
"Please ask your Dad not to move. I will miss you too much!"
As she read each one,
I choked back tears that threatened to reveal my concern for
each of my kids whenever a move is upon us.
My mind went back to an afternoon in late May
at Annapolis Area Christian School in Maryland
when my mom dried the tears of her own little girl
who was clutching a very similar book of goodbye letters.
We were moving from Maryland to Pensacola, Florida
and I was just finishing the 5th grade.
I remember all those final hugs
and all those goodbyes to friends who I thought
I would never be able to live without.
I've said goodbye so many times since then
and my oldest three kids have many goodbye books
of their own stashed away in a keepsake box.
But this is Bren's first precious collection of sweet sentiments
from her grade school friends putting into words what a special little girl she is
and how much she will be missed.
This will be her first taste of goodbye to all of the little girls
who have filled up her weekday afternoons,
and her first introduction to learning to let go and move on but not forget.
We probably won't see any tears from her
because she's a tough little one when it comes to that,
but we'll see it in other ways.
In the quiet way she'll stare out the window,
not saying anything but
thinking, thinking, thinking....
I will recognize the worry in her eyes.
What will her new school be like?
Will they like her?
Will she like them?
Will she have a nice teacher?
Uncertainty will surely haunt her when she lets it.
Like I said though,
She is one tough cookie
and a very adaptable, friendly child.
She'll do great and she'll make friends on day one,
I'm sure of it.
The hardest part is the leaving and the arriving.
Everything else is filling.
Our journey begins in the morning
with cross country adventure blogging starting over the weekend.
We'll spend two nights with my friend Linda
and then off to Yellowstone with Linda and her family
for two days of exploring
before we point ourselves east on 70
and go until we smell the old bay seasoning!