~ Luci - Shine Bright Like a Diamond ~

We spent the night before her first day of Kindergarten scrubbing purple nail polish off little fingers, and gently removing pink sparkle heart earrings that spell “Rock/Star” on each side,  replacing them with some more school-allowed little Gold hearts.

I’m hiding all of her high heels, jewelry, and makeup to avoid fights in the morning about accessories.
I brushed her dark blonde hair and then joined her in bed to watch "Annie" - one of our favorite movies.   

We said prayers, talked about what she wanted for breakfast in the morning, and then I reassured her for the 14th time that no matter what Rocky says... they will NOT make her eat broccoli at Kindergarten.

As I sent her off to school the next morning, I bent down in the parking lot and whispered the same thing I whisper to her anytime she is doing anything special:  "Shine bright like a diamond" -  a line from one of her favorite songs.   Then she rolled her eyes and said "Ugh….Mooooom stop, you never sing it right," and off she went.   :)

Miss independent bounced in the building like she's been there her whole life.  It's still hard, no matter how ready she is.

 When that tiny hand slips out of yours, the last 5 years of their life flash right before your eyes.  You hope and pray all the good you've poured into this little soul isn't ruined by some snot head kid with a mohawk who teachers her what the "middle finger" is on her first day.

Luci is a little rainbow of awesome.  She puts her whole heart into everything she does.  Sometimes she gets so excited I swear she is going to spontaneously combust into a poof of glitter.  She had her 5th and 6th dance recitals over the summer.  Not one ounce of nerves.  Chin up, buttercup...littlest one up there...huge smile on her face.  Shaking that tutu like it was her job.

I love how much she loves to be on stage.  If I could bottle her confidence up and sell it, I would be a rich lady. 
I knew Kindergarten wouldn't be a big deal to her because she absolutley loved pre-school.  The teachers adored her and she was an easy student.  She only got in trouble one time the whole year - for teaching the other girls the "Gangnam Style" dance in the bathroom.

Roaming the hallways in preschool, her artwork was always the easiest to spot.  Just look for the butterfly, elf, or bear equipped with eyelashes, lipstick and a bra. 

That morning, after drop off,  I went home and climbed into her bed - the same one she just crawled out of an hour before - and stared at the walls for a little bit.  The house is so quiet without her here all day.  Thank God Libby Lu is here to keep me sane.  Speaking of Libby Lu, she was NOT thrilled with our new morning routine.  She doesn't like mornings.  LOL

I left her that morning in the caring hands of a teacher I trust with all my heart.  This was the last picture I look of Luci when I left. 

The only hard part about her going to Kindergarten is how much I miss having her around the house.    When she grows up, I will miss raising her so badly.  I can't speak for her teenage years yet, but Luci the toddler is a breeze.  She is truly a joy to have as a little girl.  I would raise her 20 times again if I could.  I will miss the way her crazy hair sticks up in the mornings, they way she takes care of her little sister, I will miss her little kisses and hugs, I will miss the way she talks, the way she walks, the way she smells.  I will miss everything about Luci at 5 years old and all the things that remind me of her. 

Side ponytails and baby teeth
Getting her first big girl haircut
Riding a bike with no training wheels
Getting frustrated because she can't whistle
Mothering her little sister and getting picked on by her older brother
Singing Taylor Swift songs at the tops of her lungs
Chipped nail polish and dirty bare feet
Spending time in her room, by herself, on purpose
Justin Beiber Pajamas
Strawberry smurf shampoo and coconut conditioner
Having 3 boyfriends.
Mastering kartwheels and splits.
Wearing a bikini top under her shirt so people will think it's a bra

I love you Luci Manno!  Welcome to Kindergarten.  

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