On August 29 of last year, this picture was taken .
And just this morning, a new one was taken.
Same dress (albeit a little shorter).
Same shoes (though certainly a bit more snug).
Same frog lunchbox (with many added scuffs and stains).
But the girl pictured?
Not so much the same...
She's grown nearly 2 1/2 inches and gained a pound or two (height still outranks her weight), but the physical growth isn't what is most striking.
Rather, it's the growth in her self confidence that blows me away.
In the 281 days that have passed since her assessment day, she's gone from pasting on her "game day" face to actually looking forward to school.
Maybe it has something to do with how well she's reading.
Maybe it has something to do with simply adoring (and excelling in) her math class.
Maybe it has something to do with making new friends.
And maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the fact that she's learned over the course of the year that you can miss someone but still have a good day.
(Actually that's one that mommy had to learn too).
On that very first day, I wasn't sure if either one of us was going to survive. It felt like part of the air I breathe had been sucked out of my lungs to look in the back of the van and have one empty Graco seat. Her facial expressions and body language clearly told me she felt as uneasy about being away.
But she went.
And we both survived. (Not that either of us have ever come to particularly like our daily separation, but we've both learned how to manage).
As full of doubt as I was back in the fall if we had made the right decision about public school, now I am certain that her elementary school is the right place for her.
She's not just grown, she's thrived. It shows in her report card as well as her demeanor.
As wonderful as it's been, this morning as we walked out the door to head to school, we celebrated.
(much different from the somber scene of her siblings as she left that first day back in August)
We're sure looking forward to having "the leader of the pack" back with us for the summer!
Now if you'll excuse us, we have 81 days until school starts again. That's a lot of summer to live before I go worrying about my twins leaving the nest...