Nell was so eager to start Kindergarten that the mere mention of the word school made her entire little body shake.
She bounced out the door that first day, eager and fearless.
So when the call came around lunch time on the fourth day of school that Nell had fallen from the playground equipment and likely broken her arm, I knew the time away from school would hurt her almost as much as the pain itself.
And while I was sad for her; frustrated at risky playground equipment; and unsure of how to care for her; I see those days now as a small gift of time to hold my baby girl a little longer.
Nell was the kind of toddler and preschooler that was fun to have around the house.
Another trip to the grocery store? Smiling Nell preferred to sit in the back surrounded by the groceries.
Bathroom cleaning day? She loved to scrub the toilets.
Dishes, dishes and more dishes? It was her job to rinse. And provide the musical entertainment.
Of course, there was cookie baking, sand-box playing, coloring and reading. Her zest for life wasn't just for the fun stuff; she made the mundane a little brighter.
When she left for that first day of Kindergarten, I wasn't sad. I was happy for that bouncy little girl. And thankful I had the chance to spend every day with her in preparation for life as a school-aged girl.
A broken arm just may have been God's way of giving my bouncy little girl and I a few more special days together.
A few days to cuddle, to paint her nails, to wash her hair in the kitchen sink, to carry her from room to room. A few more days as a little girl close to her momma; one final reassurance that my bouncy little girl is ready to take flight as a school girl.
Broken arms are sometimes so much more than broken arms. They're a chance to hold our babies just a little longer.