the invisible line

It echoed over all our televisions in July. That "oh, oh, oh," of Phillip Phillips "Home." It was catchy, it got your heart beating faster watching Ali's smug "I nailed that tumbling pass" grin. Steve loves this song. The kids hum along. You almost can't help it.

I heard it on the way home last week from a group I volunteer with in town for newcomers. It made me think of Caroline and school and this little town and how I never thought we would be here and yet, here we are. Home. I've written before about how our goal when we were living in Connecticut (a long time ago now) when we realized it was not going to stick, was to be back to Massachusetts in time for school. At times it seemed reasonable, at others impossible, and then it just happened so fast and so suddenly. BOOM.

We have lived here in this home for almost two years and it feels equal parts, "didn't we just get here?" and "doesn't it seem like we've been here forever?" We've put our stamp on it now, freed it of its pale pink walls and wallpaper. We know the sounds of our home too; the way the water comes on in spurts for the washing machine and the way you can hear through the walls of the master bath directly into the kitchen. I haven't learned every squeaky step yet, but in time Caroline and Connor will to assist them in creaking up the steps, home past curfew.

There seems to be something about having one of our short people starting at the public school down the street makes it feel a little more like home now. We feel part of town in a way we didn't necessarily feel before. Still, there is just something about that song. Beyond the obvious I love you and you love me and we can take on the world thing, it seems pretty appropriate for today; the first day of Kindergarten. It goes a another unexpected way too; kid to parent, parent to kid. I'll hold onto you and you hold onto me and we will ride this thing wherever it takes us and you will never be alone.

Here are the lyrics... minus the oh, oh, oh'ing referenced up top.
"Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause i’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause i’m going to make this place your home"

This morning, my baby strapped on her backpack, put on her biggest smile and posed for this photo.

There were a few tears when the bus rounded the corner, but I maintained my composure (somehow) and led her by the hand across the street, avoided the rookie mistake of the hoisted hug, where my big kid stepped up and onto the bus and into the first seat beside her fellow first time rider Tyler. The sobs stopped, but her scared little face reached around the corner to get one more look at us before the doors closed and she rode away to her first day in kindergarten. I made it through Connor's drop off, made the u-turn, blew kisses out my window and tried to focus on the day ahead. My eyes welled up as I glanced at the clock, knowing she had arrived and her day had begun and she was there stepping across some invisible line into a new phase of life.

How did it go? This is seriously all I got from her. Her teacher was there to greet her. Our neighbor (the school nurse) was there to take a photo of her getting off the bus. She went to gym and danced around. She ate all the skin off her peach. She skinned her knee on the playground. She made friends, but could not tell me anything about it. She wants to go back tomorrow.

This morning before the bus came, I quickly went through the story "The Kissing Hand" and I kissed her hand and placed it against her cheek and reminded her she carried a piece of my heart in her own body and my kiss would be there in her palm all day to remind her that I love her. They actually read the book at storytime today. She then traced her own hand, placed a heart sticker in the center and brought it home just to make me cry, right? Oh, my heart.

Tonight at bedtime I brushed the curls from her brow, "I am so proud of you, Caroline." "I'm so proud of you too, Mommy." Gulp. God, she's good.


  1. We got a kissing hand today too with two,little handprints and a tear jerking saying with it. These teachers man, they are killing me over here. Where's the Kleenex?