Kindergarten and Everything After

Lydia just wrapped up her second full week of school, and of course she loves it and seems like an old pro at this going to school thing.  It is hard to tell exactly how well things are going though.  I can’t be on the playground to see if she is making friends.  Are the kids nice to her?  Does she talk to the teacher?  Who does she sit with at lunch? 

On the mornings when I drop her off, she walks up the sidewalk, the gigantic lilac colored Disney fairy backpack bouncing.  She pins her hair back with barrettes bought by her granny, and she doesn’t want me to adjust it at all because she likes it that way, and it is perfect that way – her curls loose in ringlets pulled back from her face and layered past her shoulders.  She wears pink leggings under the blue-jean jumper she picked out for her first-day outfit and Hello Kitty ballerina slippers.  She doesn’t just dress herself, she accessorizes herself, prepares herself, gives me a hug and I say I love her, and she strides toward the door without looking back. 

I have nothing to worry about, except that her beautiful little soul might be damaged by some mean-spirited kid. Isn’t that what we all fear when we send our courageous children out into the world? 

What I do know is that Lydia came home the other day and said that she got a Tootsie Roll for helping Ella.  She said that Ella is made different than we are and that she crawls instead of walks, and then she showed me how she crawls.  She said she sat with Ella at lunch along with another girl who comes to visit her class sometimes. 

Lord, wrap her beautiful little soul in bubble wrap for me.  Keep her heart soft, even while mine cracks open.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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