All the busy-ness kept me going for most of the morning, but it was walking home... it was the pace of lonely steps and the absence of a tiny hand that hit me. It was not stopping every few feet to look at a flower or a bug. It was the silence, the lack of "mommy, look..." That's what got me.
So now I watch the clock in anticipation of an after school hug and I look at pictures of freckles and I feel my heart sinking and my throat lumping and I look forward to the tales of the day. Come on 3:45.