Notice the "we" in the title. It will make sense later, I promise.
Ann Catherine's first day of school went off without a hitch. She woke up so excited and was beyond thrilled that her Daddy came along for the ride. I have the cutest mental picture in my mind of her face as we walked into school together. Chris was on one side holding her hand, and I was on the other. She looked up at both of us with the biggest grin on her face. She was just so happy.
Of course, before school we did the obligatory "first day" pictures. Since Poppy came that morning to pick up Lily Baker (so Chris and I could focus on Ann Catherine), we even got a picture with him!
AC walked into her classroom like such a big kid. She put all of her school supplies away and hung up her backpack. She sat down at her table and asked me to read a book to her. As we read, someone came over the loud speaker asking the parents who were finished dropping their children off to leave so it would free up parking spaces. She got a scared look on her face and I thought she might cry. I finished reading the book to her and then told her how proud I was of her and that she was going to have a wonderful day. I gave her a big hug and so did Chris. And she was fine. It helped that Lamby was there with her. :)
I knew she would do great.
Here's where the "we" comes in.
I did okay too.
The night before school, Ann Catherine said, "Mommy, are you going to cry tomorrow?" The question startled me and I realized that she must have heard me tell that to someone. "Why would I cry?" I asked. "Because you are sad," she answered.
And I realized right then and there, that she needed me to be strong tomorrow. To a five-year-old, tears mean mommy is sad. And if mommy is crying as her baby goes to kindergarten, then her baby is going to think kindergarten makes mommy sad. I knew this is not the message I needed to send to AC.
So I prayed when I went to bed. And I prayed that God would please help me NOT to cry when I dropped AC off.
Then in the shower the next morning, I prayed about it again. Because I knew it would only be by the grace of God that I didn't break down in front of her.
I didn't shed one single tear in front of her. I made that morning as happy as I could for her. And that had nothing to do with me. It was all God.
Then when Chris and I pulled out of that parking lot, I began to cry. And then I sobbed. And as I told him, "I'm not crying about Ann Catherine. I know she's fine. I'm crying for Melissa."
And he understood. And just let me cry.
Then I needed to see my rainbow. So as soon as Chris dropped me off at home, I jumped in the car and drove to my parent's house. LB was sitting in the chair with Poppy watching cartoons and I couldn't get to her fast enough. I grabbed her and squeezed her tight.
And just as she has done since she came into this world, her very presence calmed me. I knew it was going to be alright.
Thanks to all of you who prayed for me. I felt it. So many of you called, texted, emailed and posted on my blog to let me know I was in your prayers. You will NEVER know what that meant to me. I am so blessed to have such good friends!
One more thing I want to share. Later that day, Chris texted me to make sure I was alright. We texted back and forth for a while and then I texted "Do you think they have kindergarten in Heaven?"
What he texted back brought a smile to my face and peace in my heart.
There is no doubt in my mind about that.