Today I took my niece to school.
My niece (my brother’s daughter) is nine years old, and she’s lovely, a stylish and fun and smart little one with thick, dirty blonde hair and high-high top (like, knee high!) Converse tennies. The crayon drawing in Hudson’s bed at the hospital? That’s my niece’s artwork.
I got to make her scrambled eggs and talk to her about school and gymnastics and Thanksgiving break, and then we piled into my car and I took her to school. As I was slow-creeping through the parking lot behind other carfulls of kids ready for school, I thought back to just over a year ago, before I was pregnant, the last time I took my niece to school.
I remember thinking to myself last September, “This is going to be fun to do someday… take my kids to school.”
And today I realized that I’ll never get to take Hudson to school.
I mean, I’ve realized a lot of things that I’ll never get to do with Hudson, do for Hudson, see Hudson do. But for whatever reason, dropping off my sweet, stylish niece today made my heart hurt a little bit for all the things I wish I were doing, all the things I wish I were looking forward to, all the ways I’ll never get to see our daughter grow up.
So when we pulled up to the curb, I took off my seatbelt and gave my niece a too-tight hug, and told her I loved her and encouraged her to have a great day, and once she got out I let myself cry.
Don’t take a single thing for granted. What you might think of as a mundane, trivial daily chore is the same thing that makes a grown woman choke up in a grade school parking lot, slow-creeping over the speed bumps, stopping for the little 3rd grade flagger, wishing for a world of experiences she’ll never have.