That's all it took for Ellie to grow up.
Or so it seems, sometimes.
I got to visit Ellie at school today for the Book Fair. I met her in the library, and we picked out books together. She pointed out some of her classmates, and then, all to quickly, out time was up. I hugged her, and then she followed her class out of the library, and back to her classroom. As I watched her walk away, without looking back, it struck me how much has changed in just a month. As I was leaving the library, the librarian discovered two of Ellie's classmates that were reading quietly in a corner, and hadn't realized that their class had left! The librarian ushered them out the door with instructions to go straight to their class. The two girls skipped down the hallway in front of me towards the classroom.
All by themselves.
In a Big school.
That's when it really hit me.
They're not little anymore.
Wait! When did this happen? How can Ellie be big enough for this? She's just a little girl.
I'm not sure why it's just now hitting me. But it did, and as I drove away from school, I had this crazy thought to go grab her and keep her home for another year or two. I guess that's why a lot of people home-school that first year. They can't stand the thought of their little child being, well, Big. But even as I realize this, and understand how hard it is to let her grow-up, I know I must. I must let her go, and grow, and learn, and discover. She likes school. Sure there have been hard days, and I'm sure their will be more to come. But on the whole, it's been a really good experience. She seems like she has matured by years in just a month! She talks to me more maturely, and respectfully (most of the time!) She seems so much more capable of handling things, and life in general. These are the things that school is doing for her. Things that I couldn't accomplish if I kept her home. It's hard to let her go...but I must.