Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Four years

It's a big day at our house. Katie is officially registered for kindergarten.

As she and I were in the foyer of our elementary school for roundup, I was visiting with Julia, Cooper's first-grade teacher. I told her that it's difficult to believe that we were registering Cooper for kindergarten exactly four years ago.

"Mommy, is four years a long time?" Katie asked.

"It's long and short," I told her.

When Cooper registered, there were four of us walking into Bledsoe. Steve left work a little early that afternoon in April 2006 so that he could join us. Katie wasn't yet 1 and was barely crawling.

We were giddy. We had watched Bledsoe being built just a third of a mile from our home. Most afternoons when Cooper was in day care, Steve would pick him up and they'd take a little detour on the way home to see construction progress. Steve would call it "the school of the future!" in his awesome radio-announcer voice.

Cooper would call it "the future of the school!" in his preschool voice.

When I was completing forms for Katie's enrollment, I checked a box identifying me as a widow. I left all the questions about her father blank.

Even without Steve walking with us to school this afternoon for registration, Katie was giddy. After spending most of her life in and out of the building, she loves Bledsoe and is comfortable in the cafeteria, front office and library. About half the staff and teachers know her by name. She is definitely ready.

But me? I'm just one degree less than giddy. These big moments, like countless little moments every day, are tinged with the sadness of Steve's absence. I want the impossible for Katie -- Daddy holding her hand while she walks into the building to register and again on the first day of school in August.

There's no doubt, of course, that Steve was with us this afternoon -- just not in the way that four years ago I could have ever imagined.

Katie, age 4, April 2010

Cooper, age 4, April 2006


Laura said...

Wow ... look how Cooper has grown. And they look so much alike here. I love these photos. I know this must be such a difficult time for you, Tyra. Joy and sadness rolled into one. I am thinking of you, always.

Anonymous said...

What a happy looking girl! So excited for Miss Katie.

I wish that Steve could be there with you all. I think about him often at work. Still using his old coffee cup every day. And every day, it reminds me of him.

And when I see these pictures of the kids, I imagine Steve showing them to me... "Here's Katie, the big girl getting registered for kindergarten."

And I know he'd put his hand on his chest and shake his head when he saw the picture of Cooper from four years ago, not wanting him to grow up so fast.

Steve truly cherished every moment with all of you, and he wanted each moment to last as long as possible.

Hope to see you sometime, Tyra! I'm working down in Dallas again.

Will try to get together with you and Leti for lunch sometime soon.

Lori Nolen