Ruby looked out the window and couldn't help but smiling. She was probably much more excited for the first day of school than Ella! The sweet clean little tennis shoes, new notebooks and pencils, pictures by the bus and the classroom door of her little girl in a too-big back pack, even the tears and constant missing, all of it seemed exciting to Ruby. It meant Ella was growing up, and though it hurt beyond description, Ruby was so excited for all of the beautiful new experiences the world was opening up for her little girl.
"Mom?" Ruby turned and saw Ella in the doorway, all dressed in the outfit they'd picked out together the night before: ruffle socks slouched around her ankles, a perfect for summer-meets-fall, back-to-school time plaid jumper over a crisp t-shirt with ruffled sleeves. She held out hair brush and her favorite hair clips from Grandma Rose.
"Oh Ella," Ruby sighed. "How I love you so. You fill my whole life with wonder and I am so happy for you. You are going to love all that life has to offer. I love you."