They used to line up to watch me leave.
Even if I was just running to the store for 10 minutes . . . five little faces would be pressed up against the glass.
“Don’t forget to beep and wave!” they’d yell, knocking each other over trying to claim their spots by the window.
We eventually even had to put little pieces of tape with their names on them right on the floor in front of the door so they would get into position with less arguing.
It made for a long goodbye to line up littles fairly each time we left the house.
And if, God forbid, we would forget to beep and wave . . . so many tears. They’d cry broken-hearted tears of abandonment . . . the drama with this group is real.
I remember circling back after I once forgot, so eager was I for 30 minutes of uninterrupted diaper buying time at Target. But I got a phone call about an inconsolable someone and drove home just to beep and wave and then be on my way.
I fear I was even annoyed by all that love . . . not knowing I should have bottled up every bit of it to live on now.
But the touched-out feeling of the little years is so real and I have all the grace for the me of those days. She needed a break for the love and couldn’t be expected to see all the beauty right in front of her all of the times.
But today, I stood at that window alone.
My girl is now the one leaving.
And it’s been years since little toes lined up where I now stand, the small fingers that clung to lovies to comfort them as I left, now most often hold cell phones and the faces that used to press right up to watch me leave now glance up politely when I say I’m going away.
Today I pressed my face into the glass, trying to see her for all the last seconds I could. This piece of my heart going back out where she belongs in the world.
I wished for a talisman of some sort to hold onto to comfort me as she pulled away.
Then the car slowed and I heard it . . . a beep, and then a wave.
And my heart could burst really with the full circleness of it all.
It hit me that my own mom, too, stands just like this each time we leave.
I stopped to soak in all the beauty of the moment because it’s just easier to do now that I’m not changing diapers and wiping noses.
And because the moments are fewer and therefore more precious . . . I don’t want to miss a single one.
That beep and wave reminded me goodbyes are rarely easy but we leave with love and even better love always comes home.
We are so lucky to have this love, aren’t we? To have our hearts break a little when they go.
But for the record, the coming home will always be my favorite.
Originally published on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt