Nearly every morning last fall, Opal would fall in step with her brothers as they prepared for school, only to be shocked into tears as they drove away without her. After all, these three kiddos are a tightly knit pack.
Slowly, she got used to the routine of waving goodbye to them as they went on their way. But the sense of inequity never quite left her. We would bustled around the house getting ready for church, or hikes in the foothills–outings planned for the entire family–and she would look up at us, steeling herself for disappointment and ask, “Do I get to go?” “Yes, Opal. You are coming, or course.” Then she would raise across the house to another family member and exclaim, “I’m going to school too!” “To church, Opal. We’re going to church.” “Oh. I’m going to church too!”
Well here we are, a few short-long months later and Opal is finally off to kindergarten a couple of mornings a week.
It’s a moment that stirs up the first days of her life. The first wobbly steps. First attempts at language. I find myself wanting to go back in time, hold them each in my arms for just a few moments. Their new and fresh from heaven selves, who have passed into memory and become little people with successes and attempts, failures and mendings.
But this is the selfish part of me. Joyfully watching them from afar, the rest of me understands a little better what it is to be human–the interweaving of given and created, archetype and individual, connecting and separating. And it all starts with those few words, “I’m going to school too!”