The night before John Henry’s first day, I read to him The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. What.Was.I.Thinking? I barely made it out of his room in one piece. It’s a sweet story about a little raccoon’s fears of starting school and a mommy raccoon who calms him with the clever “kissing hand”. She kisses his palm then closes his little hand. So, if he begins to miss his mommy, he can just open his hand and touch it to his cheek and say, “My mommy loves me.”
So, I kissed John Henry’s hand. And, he kissed mine, so I could do the same.
The big day arrived, and he got dressed for school.
He walked through big boy doors.
Put his backpack in his locker.
Sat down in his big boy chair at his big boy table.
And wondered when I was going to stop taking pictures.
If the look on his face wasn’t my cue to leave, then maybe this was.
Yep. That about summed it up. He couldn’t have said more.
So, I walked out of his classroom. And, he never saw my tears.
But, it was me holding my hand to my face saying, “John Henry loves me.”