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  • In 137 days, my youngest of three daughters will start Kindergarten.

    I know this because for the last two and a half years, we've had a countdown. My husband programmed a widget on our home computer to track the pending milestone. He loves a good countdown. At any given time, he has 3-5 various countdowns cluttering the computer's dashboard: days until birthdays, days until summer vacation starts, days until summer vacation ends, etc.

    He started this particular countdown, days until 'A' starts Kindergarten, on her very first day of preschool. The ticker read 1008.

    Over these last 1008 days, several friends and neighbors have discovered our countdown. Once in-the-know, they'll check in every so often. "How many more days now?!" They'll ask, as satisfied with any number provided as they would have been hearing the punchline to an old but beloved joke.

    Sometimes, when I don't know the specific number for that day, I'll lie. I used to round up to the nearest 10, but it never seemed as funny. Either way, I usually get a genuine laugh or an amused head shake in response before they carry on with whatever they were doing beforehand.

    But in 137 days from now, they'll have to find another question to ask me.

    And though I don't remember every single day since 1008, I know I'll remember this one, day 137 before my youngest of three daughters starts Kindergarten. Because today, I turned in the official registration papers. As we walked to the car afterwards, hand-in-hand and smiling, I knew that we'd both been waiting for this day for a long, long time.
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