I made the decision to try out sending Larkin on the bus to school and that has had my stomach in knots for a while. She has been walking for 9 months so it made sense to try out transportation that allows her some independence. Seems fair huh? Easier said then done. The bus turned the corner and I waved from the window and watched as the driver turned around and pulled up in front of the house. Strangers. They don't her story. They don't know this girl. They don't know the pain, angst, struggle, and all the ologists in this little girls life. They don't know the fight we have given to get her to standing on this curb. I helped her up the big steps. I said hello to the driver and the aide. They were pleasant and helpful. I always appreciate when others speak directly to Larkin and treat her like a little person. I tell the aide that Larkin is non verbal. What I want to do is give her the 7 page Word document I hand to every caregiver so they can see paragraph by horrible paragraph ~ her story. I help her into the big seat and she looks out the window. The aide snaps her seat belt in place. I stepped back and took a picture. Just as her first set of skeletal x-rays, chest x-ray, heart echo, EKG, EEG, MRI, CT scan, my heart sank and every single mommy fiber of me screamed to grab her back. To grab her and run away. To run from these strangers and hide away with her and protect every hair on her beautiful head. I recognize the symptoms. I steeled my hands into fists and took a deep breath. I told the strangers to take her safely to school and bring her home the same. I stepped backward off the bus. I took a picture. I let go. Because all of the firsts that I listed above gave us the path to helping this little girl stand on that curb. Get on that bus. Sit in that seat. Look out that window. She is a beauty to behold. She is amazing. She is Grace and Redemption personified. She is my heart, soul, spirit, and my love. Walking back to the front door I could hear Brin and Erin crying for me and I sat with both babies on the floor of the foyer and cried with them. I pulled it together until I heard Larkin's stuffed Tad toy begin his learning time music. Tad was alone and my tears began again. That is until Brin quickly crawled over to him, happy as a clam when she realized that big sister was not going to bonk her over the head for playing with him. Laughing I turned into Erin and began our new first of morning with the twins, my heart, soul, spirit, and my loves, until the big girl comes home and we are complete.