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First day, first grade

By Robin Dearing
I did better this year. I got a little weepy on the drive back to work, but I didn't actually cry. But I wanted to. I still do (I might still). Margaret was so excited when we left this morning to walk over to her first day in first grade. Look at that face: First day 2.jpg As we got closer to school, she became more quiet. We walked through the halls of the big school (her kindergarten had been in a separate building); she held my hand more tightly. As we found her classroom, I noticed some little faces that were familiar — some shone with excitement, some were dark with concern and a little fear. After being introduced to her teacher, she lined up outside with the other kids. First day.jpg One boy with a fresh buzz cut cried. I would have gladly joined him. Instead I reassured Margaret, who was now very timid, that everyone was in the same boat. It's a new experience for every child there. I'm not sure who needed the assurance more, her or me. Bill and I lingered, talked with the principal, took some pictures. We knew it was time for us to leave, but it was so hard to walk away. Finally I mustered a smile and we waved. We stood outside the fenced school yard and watched her a little longer. We huddled there talking about how she seemed so big and yet so little at the same time until she noticed us. And we knew it was time to go.

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