The first

And it starts.
Your very first day of school.
Real school.
Riding the bus,
meeting new friends,
having a teacher with you for longer hours than we are with you,
And I wonder...
how did we get here?

How did the person I made five years ago get here?
How did she grow up?
How did I get from the horrible 2 turning 3 year old that made every day feel like a year
to a place where the past five years feel like moments?


How did we do this?
And, what did we do?
Did we do enough?

The memories Anna,
they are crushing
They are not all good,
but there is so much good.
The first time I met you, long after everyone else got their hands on you,
hours after you were introduced,
we finally had our moment.
The day we brought you home, walking through our front door with you.
Telling you all about your new space and meeting Mia.
Then came the day, the exact moment I fell hard for you.


Your first words (woof...it was how you called for Mia)
how you crawled
your first steps.
How you were always stubborn.
Always always always on your own time line,
always doing things your way, in your time, on your terms.
But having this wonderful heart,
filled with so much determination and just wanting to be loved.


And I wonder about all I feel I still have to teach you before you go...
will you be kind?
will you know how to handle it when others are not?
will you make good choices with your teachers?
will you follow too much?
will you make the sort of friends that will stay with you, become family?
will you love it?
will you work through the things that are difficult for you?
will you continue to love a challenge?
love to learn something new?
will you continue to love to learn?
will you want to tell me all about it?
will you want to still talk to us?
have I taught you that we are here for you?
have I taught you that there is no time our love will end?

Have I built enough good?
Have I done enough to show you all you have changed,
how much you have made us grow?
Have I built enough memories.
Have I built a warm and loving home for you to come home to?
Have I built enough?
Have I given enough attention,
enough hugs,
enough smooches,
enough hand holding,
enough cuddles,
do you know that my arms are always open to you baby girl?
As a newborn, as a two year old, at five or fifteen or thirty-five, or however long I am on this earth,
our arms are always open to you.

Do you know?
Do you know that some will be mean,
either to you or others?
Do you know that some will become a part of your family,
and your story, the real you, will be known only through them?
Do you know that there are days you will come home beaming
and other days when you will feel crushed?
Do you know that you have to try and work?
Do you know that this is fun, and learning is a wonderful part of life?
Do you know you will find who you really are?
Do you know that love will always be waiting for you at home?

And so, on Tuesday night,
I will make sure your backpack is all set.
We will put out your outfit,
make sure you feel special in it.
We will make your lunch together, make sure it is exactly what you want for school.
We will give our nightly hugs, and I will listen as you and dad say goodbye to your summer.
I will hear you two go through your favorite moments,
breakfast at the track
getting your picture with Rosie,
getting to spend almost a week at grandma and grandpa's house,
adventure days with dad,
the library,
all the books we read,
playground fun,
basketball camp or gymnastics,
going to Boston,
the Yankees game?
I will listen as you two say goodbye to this incredible time you have together.
And how lucky we all are that you do have this time.

Houser127 Houser081

And then, I will tell you that I carry your heart.


We will open our eyes the next day and get the day started.
We will take pictures,
I will walk you to that bus stop, I will hold your hand the whole time.
I will take more pictures,
I will tell you that I am proud of you and that I am so excited for your big day,
and then, I will watch.
I will watch your little body get on that bus,
I will see only your backpack because you are making your way in.
I will watch you sit down and maybe you'll remember to wave to me, maybe.
I will blow you a kiss sweet girl, and then,
I will watch you pull away.
I will watch you start you.
And, I will remember the start of us,
all that we have done,
all that we have left to do,
and I will whisper,
I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.

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