It's nothing new, but I've been feeling rather short on hours lately. When the announcement for Laurel's family math event came through a couple of weeks ago and Jon said he couldn't make it, I sighed and thought, "Ugh. It's early release day too. Which means I'll get about 3 hours to work that day. There's no way I can go." But last night I decided to go. Admittedly, partially I was motivated by not wanting Laurel to be the only kid there without a parent, but I also would have only myself to blame if I allowed history to repeat itself.

And I know it's not about the gold star here, but I was rewarded for my effort.

Glee was telling Laurel over breakfast that I was coming to be with her at the family math event and having her freak. the. hell. out. (She assumed I wasn't coming.)

Glee was seeing Laurel run to the door, excited to go to school together, instead of the usual dragging of heels.

Glee was listening to Laurel giggle and say, "Well, this is unusual for all of us to go to school together in the morning, isn't it?" (Jon always does drop off since it's on his way to the clinic.)

Glee was feeling the warmth and strength of Laurel's little paw as she squeezed mine and showed me the way to get to school (even though it's the same way I go when I pick her up every day).

Glee was seeing how proud Laurel looked to show me her morning routine of cubby organization, carpet squares, and such.

Glee was watching Laurel interact with her teachers and friends and other parents. The change in her confidence since starting kindergarten never ceases to amaze me.

Glee was watching Laurel rock the family math event. (Did she make mistakes? I have no idea. That wasn't what it was about. She was just so happy and excited to show me all of the activities.)

Glee was being present. Being there. For Laurel. Because really, I could. Because there will always be time to work later. I'm not at a point in my life where I can be the uber PTO parent or daily classroom volunteer, but I'm making progress in my own way.

If Laurel is, in fact, my only one, I am eternally grateful -- gleeful, in fact -- for such a bright and shining light in my world.