My day began at 6am when her first alarm clock went off.
"I DON'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT STOP!" she shrieked.
So I showed her. Again.
Then breakfast, which she couldn't eat, because her "tummy is a little wobbly and doesn't like oatmeal much today."
Then a crying fit because the t-shirt they gave her for the first day of school is ugly and huge and doesn't go with any of her skirts.
Then a discussion of whether or not her socks were "right."
And then we packed up the new backpack and walked to the end of the street.
She was the youngest at our bus stop and watched the older boys doing handstands in the dewy grass.
"Will I learn that in Kindergarten?" she asked, eyes wide.
Then the bus came. It didn't look like the ones I used to ride, where I was bullied and spat on and generally taught that books make better companions than people. Her bus was shaped more like a hedgehog. And the windows were tinted.
The door opened.
And by God, the child got on without so much as a hug, a kiss, or a "Bye, Mommy!"
She disappeared behind the smoky glass before I could even wish her well. I leaned in the door and told the bus driver her name, and that she was in Kindergarten.
"I'll take good care of her," he said.
Seven hours later, she hopped right back out.
All in one piece! Inside, I cheered.
"How was your first day at Big Kid School?" I asked.
"It was okay," she said.
We walked a bit.
"I didn't like rest time. I can't rest with my shoes on. And the gym smelled."
"I hear you, dude," I say, a hand on her little shoulder.
Then she thought some more.
"Actually, I loved it. I liked it so much I didn't want to come home. But then I remembered that I like you guys, so I did."
"That's the way everything should be," I said.