Normally for after school pick up, I sit in my parked car in the rear entrance of the school and wait for my daughter.
On Friday, I couldn’t wait. I got out of my car when I heard the bell ring and ran up the stairs to wait for her. As I stood there in the middle of the field waiting for her, the cold wind blew my hair into my eyes. I pushed my hair back and I wiped the tears from my eyes.
I don’t want her to see my cry.
I spotted her walking with a friend. She was wearing her big, puffy jacket. She was laughing– pure joy, sweet, innocent childhood joy.
She doesn’t know. I thought to myself. Thank God, she doesn’t know.
As she got closer, I felt the urge to run to her, scoop her up in my arms, and squeeze her tightly. But I stood there just a bit longer, waiting for her to see me standing there.
She saw me. Her eyes lit up. The smile on her face grew ten times bigger and she ran towards me.
“Moooooommmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy!” She shouted as she ran.
I began running towards her.
When we met, I knelt down, she wrapped her arms around my neck. We hugged tightly.
“Why did you come here to meet me? I’m so happy to see you!”
“I was thinking about how much I love you and couldn’t wait to see your face.” I replied.
“Well, this is the best day ever!” She said as we began walking towards towards the car.
No, it’s not. It’s the worst day ever. The absolute worst day. But she didn’t need to know that. In that moment, she needed only to believe that it absolutely was the best day ever. She was safe, I could hold my baby’s hand, she could hold mine. Oh, I felt so very lucky, so very blessed. Because on the other side of the country, so many parents no longer had their babies with them. They couldn’t hold their hands. They would never again get out of their cars to meet their babies, or see their smiles again, or feel their babies arms around their necks.
Oh my God.
Oh my God.