June 14, 2013

A "mommy moment"

Every Thursday, I pick up Amy Rose from preschool at a nearby church.

The school has a great indoor play area, a library and a fenced outdoor play yard, complete with all sorts of jungley-gym type structures to keep even the most active youngster busy. (And in the case of mine, hopefully tired by the time it's time to come home.)

Last Thursday, I pulled up to the school and noticed that the kids were all outside. I parked my truck and walked across the asphalt parking lot to the low, faded gray picket fence that calls beachwood to mind. I could see little heads lined up in a neat, but squirrely row against it. Some tiny fingers were poking out between the rough wood slats of the fence as if to feel for freedom.

At the corner of the fence, little heads to my left, I unlatched the little gate, wobbly from years of unlatching and latching. I heard the teacher as she finished counting the little ones, "...10, 11, 12! Okay, kids! Go ahead and go back to playing!" They broke from their line on the fence like runners off Olympic blocks.

I saw my Amy Rose heading down the length of the fence, away from me.

Very low, I said, "Amy Rose...." in a sing songy, playful way.
She turned.
She saw me, "MOMMY!" cried her little voice of 4 years.

She sprinted toward me, and I noticed she was screwing up her face as if holding back tears. As she dove into my arms like she had not seen me for days, I said, "Amy, honey, did something happen? Are you okay?"

"No. I am okay." She pulled it together.
"Why were you crying?"
"Oh," she chortled a funny laugh as if to brush it all off, "Those were just tears of joy."

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