I dropped my kids off this morning in the school’s circle drive. The drop-off area is always a sea of minivans, SUVs, cars and daycare buses, each loaded with kids, backpacks and snow gear. The moms, dads, childcare providers and occasional grandparent are sending kids off for the day.
I was right there in the mix doing the same thing. There was nothing unusual about our day. My son forgot to finish his homework, so that was a scramble after breakfast. My toddler didn’t want to change out of his pajamas. My daughter couldn’t find her brush anywhere. We struggled to get out the door on time. Typical day.
On the drive to school, we sang a couple songs, I reminded my daughter she had swimming lessons after school, we prayed and then suddenly we were at school at the front of the line, and the principal opened the side door.
“Good morning!” she said so joyfully.
I managed to tap my kids’ shoulders right before they hopped out of the car. A love tap.
“I love —”
The door shut and off they went.
Nothing was different about today’s drop-off, but as I left the circle and watched my kids walk into the building, all I could think was there goes my heart.
I waved. “I love you.”
I remember when my kids were in daycare full-time just a few years ago. I’d haul in their lunch boxes, diapers, blankies, Nuks, spare outfits, and snow gear. Basically half of their belongings. Every single day. I kissed their cheeks and whispered in their ears, “I love you!” Back outside, I’d hop in my car, but not before glancing back at the classroom window where I’d often see my daughter standing, waving goodbye with a smile.
She waved. “I love you.”
I waved. “I love you too.”
Before my husband leaves for work each morning, he finds each kid, kisses the top of their head and tells them that he loves them. They don’t always say goodbye to him because of distractions like forgotten homework, breakfast and PBS Kids. But as soon as he leaves and their ears hear the garage door shut, all three drop what they’re doing and run to the front door, the littlest a little slower than the older two, and begin waving goodbye. With their other hand, they blow kisses. Waves and kisses until his car disappears around the corner.
They waved. “We love you.”
He waved. “I love you too.”
Whatever kind of morning your family has, there’s an “I love you” wherever you wave.