Last night I looked into Tori’s (my oldest daughter) eyes and they were dancing. Tori is already known for being an excitable little girl. It doesn’t take much to generate anticipation in her life. I can mention the words “soccer, ice cream, donuts, movie, people are coming over, etc.” and she jumps up and down. But last night was the most wide-eyed expression I have ever seen in her cute little face. Why was she so pumped? Well today marked the official first day of Kindergarten for her. Her excitement from last night bubbled over into this morning. I had to run Dan & Heidi to the airport but I received a call from Gretchen explaining to me that Tori came into our room at 7:00 fully dressed requesting breafkast (not a misprint, that is how she says it). The bus doesn’t come until 8:22.

It is 8:10 and Gretchen, Isabelle, and I walk Tori down the block to her bus stop. Now her eyes look as if they are going to pop she is so jacked up. Tori isn’t your typical little first-time kindergartener. She is not nervous at all. Gretchen and I are amazed at her unique personality. Neither of us is anything like this and we wonder where she gets it.

The bus pulls up and the door opens. A somewhat scary looking bus driver guy opens the door and Tori about knocks over this other mom to walk up the steps. She grabs the fourth seat and looks out the window. The bus pulls away and it is done. Just like that. The whole experience took like 45 seconds. She is gone!

As I sit here right now and type I must share my honest feelings. I’m pretty miserable! I can’t believe what just happened. I wasn’t really all that sad about this first time experience until that dang bus pulled away. I can’t describe my feeling but something felt final. It felt as if this phase of the Tori I know is over. She will come home from school today a little different…a little more grown up. She will have a world now that I am not a part of. A world of new friends, Mrs. Sickman, crafts, recess (my favorite part of school), library time, teacher’s aids, etc.

I came home and looked up on top of my dresser and saw one of my favorite pictures in the entire house. It is a picture of Tori around her 1st birthday. She is sitting backwards on this little chair. Practically bald, she has this little smirk of a smile…the eyes still dancing. This photo captures all of who Tori is now but packed into a 14 month body. I looked at this picture of my little girl and the emotions just came. How has 4 ½ years gone that quickly?

For the first time in my life, I honestly received a tiny little peak into what it must have been like for God the Father when Jesus took on flesh and became one of us. I know the pain I feel right now can’t begin to compare to what God felt. Tori will be gone until 11:22, Jesus was gone for 33 years. Tori is learning her alphabet, Jesus faced persecution, hunger, and death. I have known Tori for 5 ½ years; God’s relationship with Jesus is eternal. Today’s experience though, as small as it may seem, at least gives me a little deeper glimpse into God’s heart and I love him more for it. Sending Jesus to redeem us was hard for God! He felt loss, grief, pain, agony, & despair. He watched His son experience things no person should ever endure. He had to turn His back on Jesus and for the first time in all of eternity experience separation from His beloved son. I think I appreciate this sacrifice more today. I love God a tiny bit more.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son…”

From Tori’s orientation

Another orientation picture

The walk to the bus stop

There she goes!


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