I still remember the day that I first took her to them. It was very cold and very bright. It was January 2009 and my beautiful baby was 11 months old. I can still conjure up with acute accuracy the emotions I was feeling leaving my love - my heart and soul - alone with a room full of strangers for the very first time. I was deeply sad and anxious and more than a little bit lost without her attached to my body, where she'd been safely snuggled every single day since the moment she was conceived. It was hard.
Today is hot and very bright. It's June 2012 and my beautiful baby is four and half years old. The acute emotions I'm feeling today are not that much different from those I felt three and half years ago. My baby has grown. She's been out of my arms for some time now and embraced during the week by a whole separate family. One that has loved her and nurtured her and prepared her for today, probably much better than her father and I could ever have hoped to do on our own. It's still hard.
Today is Bella's last day at Down Town Kids Academy, the daycare where she's been enrolled in full time care for the last three and half years. Next Wednesday, after a much needed reprieve and rest, she will start the full time summer kindergarten program at her new school.
Just like we did on that cold, bright day back in 2009, I will walk with her to her new beginning. I will hold her close and kiss her face and tell her how proud I am of her. She'll cling to me for a while and I'll let her, for a while. And then it will be time to let her go. She might cry. I will for sure. But I'll walk out into the summer day with a smile, knowing my big girl is more than ready to walk her next steps and that she will thrive, that she will blossom, that there is no looking back now.
Thank you DTKA Family, for your love, support, kindness and friendship. We will never forget you.