I stood on the porch saying goodbye in the final moments of my wedding reception. A new bride lingering just a minute longer as toile and ribbon wrapped rice pouches were passed around to celebrate departure. My mind was a blur.
"I have a small gift for you to present to your grandmother," my own mother doubling as event planner said and quickly turned disappearing back indoors.
And then it happened.
The new husband grabbed my hand sending an invisible signal for rice to fly. The crowd closed in, whisking away down the front walk to the waiting car amid cheers and well wishes. I took one longing look over my shoulder and then obediently ducked into the passenger side seat.
And she had missed it.
Silent tears rolled for a minute before being stuffed back in to avoid tainting an otherwise perfect day because new beginnings are sweet and endings are never easy.
We spent a few days last week easing in to Eliza's first day of kindergarten.
We had a one on one conference with the cutest kindergarten teacher in the world.
We took in our school supplies and learned about the classroom.
We attended a parent day and watched Eliza slowly edge into the social scene.
When that first day came, she was brimming. Almost to the edge of irritation that the early morning hours wouldn't pass fast enough so that she could go ahead and go "all by herself".
She had set a date with her dad to be driven and I had agreed to follow separately along and join in the celebration.
In a series of unfortunate miscommunications, I parked in the lot while the car containing my girl got caught up in the passenger lane. Helplessly from a distance, I watched that excited face jump and run up the walk through the doors without even a glance back over her shoulder.
And she was gone.
The first day hubbub died. Magically the parking lot cleared. I climbed back in my car.
And I'd missed it.
I pulled away and stuffed tears back in because time was short and groceries were needed.
All the while keeping a special place in my heart for new beginnings and endings we are never quite ready for.