Emily has a dance today after school. You will have to believe me when I say she looks adorable. There are no pictures.
We were sitting at the kitchen counter finishing her hair and laughing. “You look so cute, Em. Messy bun was a good choice.”
And then there was the bus. Honking.
“I can drive you to school,” I said. I might have yelled. In retrospect I feel like I was pleading already, as if I knew what would happen next.
“It’s okay! I can catch it, I love you!!!!” She had her backpack on her shoulder and she was out the door and down the driveway and all of a sudden I was standing on the porch with a cup of coffee I hadn’t even yet sipped and I was crying.
She’s not leaving for college. She’s going to school and then she is going to the gym to stand around and eat a heart-shaped cookie and do the Whip and Nae Nae with 87 girls and 12 boys. She is wearing cowboy boots and a leopard print dress and black leggings and silver hoop earrings and a messy bun. She is wearing the tiniest bit of eye shadow and a bit of lip gloss.
And I love her. She is my Valentine. She is the one that healed my heart so long ago. And I will stand far away from her and say “I love you, baby girl, have fun!” while the tears roll down my face so many more times.
Slow down, Time. Slow down.