Thursday, December 3, 2009

School and the Supermarket

All you really remember about your daughter’s first day at school is the supermarket. And a lot of tears. Yours.

You recall driving to school with your wife and your little girl. Your wife had spent weeks afraid your daughter would be stuck to the two of you like glue, petrified of her new world. Having to be peeled away from her parents and her safety. You spent so much time reassuring your wife everything would be fine that you didn’t realize how nervous you were about the day.

You were amazed that she took to her new surroundings without a single sob. You were so amazed, that when you said goodbye you weren’t sure your little girl understood that meant you and your wife weren’t going to be there for the next three hours. You tried to count the number of times she’d been away from both of you for that long and there weren’t very many. You drove away giggling with your wife about the ease of it all.

But you needed food and there was a supermarket to visit and a coffee shop to the left and in the parking lot you just sat there and burst into tears. You didn’t know why, really. You just did. Your wife was shocked and you were shocked and you just cried. Fat tears filling the valleys of an unshaven face while you buried your face in your palms...

Were you relieved at how quickly she adjusted?
Were you scared that she didn’t need you today like she needed you yesterday?
Were you feeling her grow up before your eyes?
Were you just being a goddamn woman?

You hadn’t figured it out. Moments like that, you rarely get a handle on until later. But your wife held you like a baby as people shopped for bananas and oatmeal in the supermarket and just cried and cried in her arms in the parking lot.

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