I love getting there in time to find just the right parking space, rolling down my windows to catch the breeze, reading for a few minutes, listening to the sounds of the 4th and 5th graders at recess, watching elementary school social dramas play out.
I love seeing the moms I've befriended and the moms & dads whose faces (but not names) I know from years of seeing them at this school or that preschool or at playgrounds or swimming lessons or summer library programs or around this small-enough town. I love watching the littlest kids walk out first in a snaking, wandering line. I love that moment when a kid sees her dad, or mom, or grandparent, that end-of-the-day greeting.
I love being able to say "Hi" to the teacher, hearing her say "Owen, there's your mom," and Owen's sweet smile when her eyes meet mine.
I love walking with her hand-in-hand back to the car.
I especially love listening to her happy chatter, telling of her day as we go to pick up Barrett.
I don't know what our schedule will be next school year, whether she'll ride the bus or someone else will pick her up or she'll stay in afterschool care for a while. But for now, daily I savor of the joy of simply being able to pick her up at school.