She didn’t even say “bye bye.” No kiss. No hug. No tears. Well, at least on her end.
It’s Willow’s first day of school. I’ve dreamed of this day, wondered what it would be like. Now, it’s here.
I left her in her classroom, playing. She was so busy cooking on her fake stove that she wouldn’t even turn around for a picture. I called her name several times. Nothing.
Now, here I am sitting in an empty house, wondering what to do. I should be showering. I should be cleaning. I should be unpacking. Good golly, I should be unpacking. We’ve been in our new home for 2 weeks now. It doesn’t look like it, though.
Why is this so hard?? Willow’s teachers are great! Her classroom is adorable! The other moms I met at the lockers were so nice, so supportive. And, Willow was so excited that she didn’t even pause to look back.
She didn’t even look back.
And now I’m here, crying, because I can’t stop looking forward.
I know it’s only preschool. I know she’s only 3. But today, things are different. Today, signifies a beginning. She’s no longer in my care 24 hours a day. She’s no longer here, where I can protect her. She’s there. Out there.
I want to believe that the world is different than when I grew up. I want to believe that it’s more accepting, more loving, more welcoming of people with Down syndrome. But, right now, all I can think of is my beautiful daughter being rejected by an ugly world. Right now, all I can think of is her heart being broken… like mine.
It wasn’t like this with my other kids. I knew they could hold their own. I knew they’d find their way. And, they have.
I guess deep down I know Willow will too. She’ll be ok. She always has been. She’s The Mighty Willow. Strong, and by the grace of God, unbreakable.
I’ve watched my Willow weather many storms these past 3 years. She can handle this.
I suppose I can, too, with the help of an uninterrupted shower and some ice cream.