She packed a snack, Baby Bear, her rainbow blanket. She stashed a book and some crayons, last week’s (slightly stained and missing a corner but still meaningful) drawing of butterflies and “maybe aliens.”
She added a half-eaten cookie, a seashell, a necklace (you just never known when you might need one). She tried to squeeze in her pillow but it “won’t go.”
She put her shoes on (wrong feet, still fit).
She zipped the bag and pulled her hat on. Splayed the coat on the floor, pushed her arms into the sleeves, and flipped the whole thing over her head just as she’d learned. The coat slid on but tugged the hat off as it went, sending it to lodge someplace between her shoulder blades.
She paused in apprehension, then shrugged, jumped in place … ‘birthed’ the hat from under the hem and victoriously repositioned it on her head.
She nodded in satisfaction, reached for her bag and hoisted a strap over one shoulder. Squirmed and wriggled to get the other arm through the second strap.
“There.” She breathed. She looked around.
Being ready was nice but actually leaving was less enticing. All those hours at preschool before she got to see Mommy again.
Her shoulders slumped. So did the bag. Her lip quivered.
A moment passed. She brightened.
“Mommy!” she called. “Can you pack me a hug?”
For The Daily Post