Drop and Go

Inside Immy's school, there is a special cordoned off section in the parking area called 'Drop and Go'. This is where the bigger kids get dropped off - leaping out of the cars, hauling bags out of the boot and waving goodbye to mom who hasn't even turned off the engine.

It's all terribly efficient. I've noticed it, but since Immy has just started Grade 1 I didn't really PAY ATTENTION to it.

Until last Thursday. When my big little girl casually asked me to drop her off at the Drop and Go.

Our conversation went something like this:

Immy: Mama, will you please drop me off at the Drop and Go? You know I'm a big girl now and I can walk by myself. It's very safe. Daddy dropped me off there yesterday.

Me: (stunned silence)


Me: (strangled voice) But Immy. Mama LOVES walking you to class, and seeing your teacher, and giving you lots of hugs and kisses goodbye! I'll miss it SO MUCH if I can't walk with you in the mornings. I don't think we need to do the Drop and Go yet, you're only in Grade 1!

Immy: (frowning) You know mama. I think you just want me to go back to Grade O because you never want me to be a big girl. 

Me: (swallowing hard)

Immy: (hands raised in a gesture of reassurance) I'll tell you what, mama. Let's just try it for a few weeks, and see how it goes. Okay?

And so I stopped at the Drop and Go. Helped her with her bags. Watched her walk away, a smile and a wave and a blonde pony tail bobbing up and down.

I thought about it all day. And when I picked her up, I made a deal with her. That I would be happy to drop her at the Drop and Go, but that any morning she feels like she wants me to walk with her to class, she just has to say.

That silken thread of independence, getting stronger each day. But yesterday and today? We walked to class together. A quick hug and a fleeting kiss, before she ran off to join her friends.

Ordinary rituals that start to shimmer at the edges because I just know they're not going to be around much longer.

My little bird. Stretching her wings to fly up, up and away.