Friday, March 16, 2012

It's Friday!

I love Fridays. I love them, not because of the obvious reason that it is the last day of a long work week (although that is a lovely reason), but I love Fridays because that is the day I pick Abby up from school.

Abby's school pictures from this year. She
was very excited about her photo shoot.
This year is the first year since Abby was 3, that she is out of my sphere for the whole day. I was spoiled that the last few years I could pop down the hallway of the school where I teach and spy on her through the window of the preschool or child care doors. I also could see her strut up and down the halls as she went from her classroom to the playground, or to some other part of the building. Granted, I was always hiding in some doorway, lest she see me and want to come back to my classroom with me, but I did get to see her. I tell you, she walked around our little school like she owned the joint - waiving to her many fans and popping into various classrooms just to say, "Hi!" She was in a place that I was very familiar with, surrounded by people I knew, and I felt very, very comfortable - so did Abby, which was one of the reasons that when it came time for all day kindergarten we chose to send her somewhere else.

Now, the main reason that we looked elsewhere was that she could get more support for what she needed at the public school. As a small private school we are just not equipped for the extra attention that Abby needed. It was a tough decision, but as the year has progressed we've realized how right that decision was. She has grown and matured with the help of her teachers and the school community there. She also has gained a measure of independence that is very good for her. As hard as it was for me to let go (college is going to be impossible), I know it was for her good.

Due to the fact that she is in a place that is new to us, I wanted to make sure that I made the extra effort to make myself known to her teachers and classmates. One way I do this is to pick her up from school each Friday. Luckily, her school gets out a half hour later than mine, so this affords me just the right amount of time to zoom out and get her.

I look forward to this every Friday. The best part of the whole thing is watching her at the moment she realizes I am there. I tell you it immediately takes away any lingering tiredness from the week, it instantly makes me feel lighter and brighter. It usually begins with her staring intently at me, as if she is thinking, Wait, is that who I think it is? Then it hits her, and that is great. She yells out, "Mama!" and comes barreling toward me to hurl herself into my arms. In that instant, the joy on her face at the fact that I am at her school is priceless. It makes me feel so special.

After a happy hug, her little hand locks into mine. Usually, when we are out and about, and Abby and I are walking together, I am the one with the death-grip on her hand. I am never quite sure when she is going to see something that interests her and take off. This is not the case on Fridays. On Fridays Abby holds onto my hand as if she is afraid I will disappear. There isn't much better than that soft little hand tightly gripping mine.

Today was just the same, and it was wonderful. She must have been feeling secure that I wouldn't leave without her, because before we left she ran to give her teachers a hug good-bye and we headed to the door. Today though, I noticed something. As we turned to leave two older girls that were in the hall made it a point to say good-bye to Abby, and Abby being Abby said, "See ya!" with a wave. It made my day even brighter because I realized that not only did the other kids see her, but they liked her. I know she is wonderful and likable, but I also know how kids operate, and I know they cannot always be accepting of differences in others. Something so simple, said so much.

After leaving school we made one more stop before heading home - pizza! It now seems a given that once we leave school we stop at the pizza place for Abby's favorite meal. By the time we got home Dad was there to greet us. Bruiser made a mad dash to the car to give us a happy hello, and we all headed into the house. We quickly got settled for our pizza dinner, a celebration which marks the beginning of the weekend.

Yes, I love Fridays for many reasons, but chiefly because of Abby.

Ready for pizza!

After dinner Abby decided to do some coloring.
I did give her paper. I guess this is what I get
for trying to do some laundry while she is "busy".

After a bath and a good scrub she was looking
more like the Abby we know and love. Tonight,
it seems, was a two apple night.

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