It's the first day of school.
You met your new teacher at open house, who seemed to set your mind at ease, after all you've grown up in front of the various teachers at the school. I was pregnant with you when we moved into the district.
You help me choose your first outfit. A pair jeans with embroidered flowers, a purple top, and the light up princess shoes grandma bought you.
You ask your oldest sister to do your hair just the same as hers. It's adorable how you are with her and she loves it! She's been crazy about you since the day you were born.
You have a bowl of Lucky Charms, making sure to eat the marshmallows first, then give the dogs whatever is left in your bowl.
We double check your Bratz backpack making sure that you have all of your supplies in there. You are so excited!
We stand outside waiting on the bus. Your brother and sister assure you that they will be there watching over you. The three of you hang out at the end of the driveway with the neighbor kids while discussing how you aren't ready for summer to end and these are the fun things you did during summer.
You excitedly get onto the bus. It's the same driver we've had for years who's always talked to you about riding the big kid bus. You've arrived!
When you get home, you tell us all about the new kids you've met and what kinds of things you did today. You hand me the war and peace booklet of papers to sign, reminding me to not forget to put them in your backpack.
All evening, you tell us all about how excited you are to go to school again. A few siblings roll their eyes, but encourage your excitement. All of you kids continue to share all about your first day and what types of things you are excited about. You're really looking forward to getting to play on the computer in the classroom! The teacher has let you play on there since your siblings had her.
Sadly, this will not be how our day goes. Instead, our family will carry around a heavy heart knowing what we will not be experiencing and feeling the void our daughter left behind. My husband and I will hold eachother a little longer knowing what we are each feeling. Some tears will be shed. This year, I will continuously be confronted with the reality of our loss. There will be no having lunch with her, no playing with her on the playground, she won't sheepishly be waving at me as her class enters the gymnasium for award assemblies, she won't be standing with classmates collecting awards, NOTHING. This is a whole new season of grief, of which I am unprepared for.