Who's a Little Girl?

It's just about a month now, since she started Kindergarten and she loves it. 

"I love it so much, and I have so much fun, I don't even realize I am learning something!" she exclaims to everyone who asks her about her new school. 

She considers learning to be different from fun, I note. Is she a real school girl now? But it's only Kindergarten!

"Can you guys introduce yourselves and tell me which grade you are in?" asks her after school teacher on the first day of after school class. 

When it's her turn, she says "I am not in any grade."
"So where do you go?" the teacher asks.

"Kindergarten. It's not a grade!" she laughs. She agrees with me, I heave out loudly, only to invite curious eyes of the rest of the kids in the class on me. "Excuse me" I say and step out of the class to do a little dance - she's not all that grown up - yet!

"You sure are happy!" a fellow mom remarks catching me in my oblivious step.
"I, just...well..." I try, getting the rest of my body parts closer to the torso. "Yeah!"

It's an hour long class, so I wait outside- working on my laptop, even as I sheepishly smile at the mom who saw me dancing. 

Before I know it, the hour's up and I shove my laptop, pen and book in my bag and rush back to her, so she doesn't feel that I've forgotten to pick her up. Which, by the way, has never happened before.

I see her talking to her friend and holding her hands as she's stepping out of the class. 
She doesn't look anywhere else; just the sky, the ground and her friend. She must be having a discussion about the distance from here to the sky I try and tell myself. You can't possibly have a discussion about the sky without looking at it!

"D!" I exclaim as she approaches me.
"Mamma!" she exclaims, but not with the same excitement as I shared. "Mamma!, can I go with my friend's mom? I'll come back home after half hour. I want to go with someone else who's not my mom."

"What?" I react, not believing my ears. Did she just refuse to come with me?

"I want to play for sometime."

"I've come to pick you up. We didn't discuss this earlier" I say, heartbroken. She doesn't seem to need me as much as I want her to. "Come with me now. We'll talk this over later." 

"O.K." she agrees reluctantly. My heart sinks. She is 5 going on 15. Maybe I am wrong about her. Maybe, she's not a little kid anymore.

"How was your day?" I ask her, trying to change the topic. I haven't ignored her reaction. I just want to discuss her response with her, when I am ready to talk and she is ready to hear. Right now, neither of us is. 

"Fine" she says. She's a teenager. Monosyllables. 

"What did you do at lunch?"

"I ate."

"Who did you sit with?"

"Mamma, can you come to my class tomorrow?" she asks.


"I like it when you are there. Like the first day you were there? It feels nice to have you around."

We've reached home by this time. I get her off the car, we walk into the house and I do my little dance. Without asking me why I am dancing, she joins in. "Can we put on some music too, Mamma?"

She's still my little girl. 

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