The other day, I walked past G’s teacher from his first year. She smiles at me. “How is G?” she asks. “I was just thinking of him the other day. I remember when he was this big, and he would come in off the bus with his enormous Mickey Mouse backpack. Do you remember?”
Yes, yes. Of course I remember. I remember loading him onto the bus. Strapping him in and giving him a kiss. Tucking the Mickey Mouse backpack safely on the floor under his tiny feet. Be safe, I’d think, as the bus pulled out of the driveway. Be safe. The bus eases out of the driveway. It’s taking all I’ve got not to throw myself across the hood, forcing the driver to stop. Ripping G out of the seat, and keeping him home with me.
But, I remember the smiling faces that are waiting for him at school. They will care for him. They will guide him. They will put their hand over his, lead him to the group at the game table, and coach him to say, “Can I play too?” And, just as importantly, they will coach the other kids to say, “Yes! It’s your turn next!”
It’s hard letting go. Knowing that G is in a safe, loving place… a place where caring teachers will help him to find his way, find his voice… that helps.