I mean, this is her.
She's a baby and she exploded the world with light and color. She came into my life and she changed everything. We grew up together. She taught me everything about being a person. I wasn't a person before I knew her. I was walking around in the world feeling invisible, like a monster. I peered at people with tiny pebbles for eyes. I was a creature. I didn't know anything about living. She is the baby that changed the world.
Sending her to Kindergarten reminds me too much of my childhood. The bright, happy, echoing hallways of an elementary school remind me of how I was sick a lot, as a child. I went to the nurse's office every day. I cried and begged her to send me home. There wasn't anything wrong with school, I just didn't like being trapped. I didn't like being with all the other kids. I didn't like navigating friendships and wearing my stupid secondhand clothes. I didn't like participating. I just wanted to curl up on the floor at my mom's feet. My mom didn't have any time for me. She had four kids. I just wanted to go home.
When I was in fourth grade, I started getting strange pains in my legs, like my thigh bones were stretching. I think maybe I used to jump rope for hours at a time. I'm not sure, though. In my mind, now, the jumping rope and leg pains are connected, but it couldn't have been that simple. I was scared because sometimes I woke up in the morning and I couldn't stand. My muscles wouldn't hold me.
Once, this happened the morning after sleeping over at a friend's house. She taught me how to peck out the theme song to Cheers on a tiny electric keyboard. I woke up and couldn't walk to the bathroom. My friend had to get her mom to help me to stand.
Nobody ever took me to the doctor about my legs. I guess it just stopped happening.
The lobby of Scouty's big girl school is shiny and the secretary is friendly. There were a lot of forms for me to fill out. I almost lost my nerve by the end of the pile.
I told Scouty today, "You don't want to go to Kindergarten. You'll just learn things and make new friends and have fun. Doesn't that sound stinky?"
She told me it sounded awesome.
I said, "Why do you want friends? You have your mommy. And why do you want to learn things? I can teach you everything. Like, look at this orange. I'll teach you about this orange. It's... orange. And it's round. See, you know everything you need to know about an orange and you don't need to go to school."
She laughed and told me that oranges are stinky and having a mommy instead of friends is stinky. I believe her. I get bored a lot and frustrated and sometimes I snap at her when she messes up the zipper on her coat. She's so bright and happy and smart. She's confident and kind and patient. She's going to do great. I can't help it that I'm scared. I'm nobody, compared to her. She's the baby that changed the world.