Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The 15th is still hard

One old, fat author and father; one young, handsome son and high school junior.

Scott and I this morning, just before we drove off to school.

I've never provided most of the school transportation for the kids. I have, however, always driven them to class on the first day of each new school year. I've done it since Sarah started pre-school, so this week marks the fifteenth time I've gotten up early (for me) to make the first-day drive. Yesterday, that trip was for Sarah. Today, it was for Scott.

The trips have changed a great deal. For the first few, Scott would let me hold his hand and walk him into the pre-school or kindergarten classroom, and he even liked it when I hung around for a minute or two. Very quickly, however, the handholding could extend only to the hallway near the classroom, and then in the blink of an eye holding his hand was strictly verboten.

Each time, after Scott was safely in the his class, I would return to my car and sit for a few minutes, choking back emotion and hoping my baby boy would be okay.

Another blink, and Scott was hopping out of the car, getting his backpack, and walking from the car to the room on his own; no need for my help.

One more blink, and it's today, when, like most high-school kids, Scott does not so much hop out of the car as trudge out, because schools start earlier than most teens want to awaken.

For me, though, the experience has remained basically the same, though the concerns have changed from whether he'll be okay--I know he will--to whether it will be a good year, other kids will be nice, and so on. I still sit in the car, I'm still choked up, and I still share with all other parents the desperate hope that everything in life will go perfectly with my children--and, of course, the knowledge that this hope is in vain. Still, I hope.

In the end, as with Sarah yesterday, each beginning marks a transformation, some bigger than others, but each is a change that is appropriate and good and occurring on schedule--and nonetheless difficult.

Last night, I stood outside Sarah's (vacant) room and Scott's room and repeated my traditional invocation, as I wrote yesterday. I'll do it again tonight, but this time it will be on the other side of the doors of a high school junior and a college freshman.

Daddy loves you, Scott.


Scott Luihn said...

And you know Scott is enjoying the fact that he is the "Junior" and Sarah is now the "Freshman" of the house. Let the label wars begin.

Mark said...

Perhaps so, but right now, I think everyone is just missing everyone.

Bernadette Bosky said...

When you write "fat," are you using it like most people, as though there is something wrong with it; as a purely objective description; or as I do, to reclaim a stigmatized word (as was done with "Black" and is being done with "queer")? In any case, you may like Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon. Personally, I've become a pisco-vegan and am doing yoga--pretty much as fat as before, but feeling younger & more energetic than I have in about ten years.

Mark said...

First, it's good to hear from you, and I'm glad you are doing well.

To answer you're question, I was using the term entirely objectively to describe myself.


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