She studies what the big kids are doing around her. She wants to join in, but it is obvious she is nervous. She is still so small, but eager to try her wings.
They are singing and dancing and laughing. She glances over her shoulder to make sure her mom is still there. You can see her insecurity in her face… but you can also see the sheer determination.
She steps ever closer to the group. Then she starts to bounce. She keeps time with the music. A smile cracks and you can see the fear starting to melt away. She is testing the waters, still unsure… still checking to see if mommy is near. But she is pressing ever forward.
Then he enters. He has big ears and a giant grin. He is silent, but she still understands who he is and what he means. The kids cheer and she joins in the excitement. Then he walks over to her and opens his arms for a big hug. She no longer looks over her shoulder to see if her mommy is there. It no longer matters. She is with the big guy… the giant mouse… that guy named Mickey. And she is so happy.
But mommy’s heart sinks a little. As beautiful as it is to see her join in and gain some independence… she recognizes this is the end of an era. The end of needing her mommy and the beginning of being an independent big girl. And though she rejoices in the milestone, she grieves just the same.
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