Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The last first day of school

Since Sarah and Scott started pre-pre-school, I have taken them to their first day of class. Fifteen trips for Sarah, fifteen for Scott, seventeen total. Between working and traveling (more often for work than not), I've missed many more school events than I would like, but I've done all I could to attend every single one I could. I've never, though, missed a first day.

Today was the last one. Today, I took Scott to school (early; he had to arrive by 7:30 a.m., which is downright mean) for the start of his senior year. I know many parents are hot to get their kids out of the house, but I'm not; I love having Sarah and Scott around, and I miss them when they're gone. I will sure miss this tradition.

In the earliest years, each of them held my hand from the moment we got out of the car, and I walked them into their classrooms and waited to be sure they were okay. Way too soon, but of course in the right time, they didn't want me to come into the class, and they didn't hold my hand. As the years passed, all that I did was stop the car long enough for them to get out. That's as it should be, their independence growing as it should, but I still can't help but ache each time they walk away.

Last year was the first time the trip involved only Scott. Watching him walk off was every bit as hard as watching them both leave.

Today, the final of these early morning rides, may have been the hardest. The broad-shouldered, tall-as-I-am young man who headed out to confront his senior year seems so very far from the tiny boy I could lift easily with one hand and hold against my chest should something scary happen--or should either of us just need a hug. Love and pride and nostalgia made the drive home a bit blurry and more than a bit sad.

Next year, I'll help him move into college, as I did last year with Sarah and will do again with her this year, but it's not the same; dorm occupation precedes classes by days, and college is not high school.

Today, though, I again got to take my son to his first day of school, and for that privilege I am enormously grateful.

I love you, Scott.


Cynthia Hyde Abbott said...

I remember very well (even though it's been 13 years) those first days of school. Taking both my children every year, and experiencing those same feelings. Fear of wether or not they'll be ok, fear of someone bulling them. Wondering if they would eat their lunch, will they cry when I leave?(I know I will)

Today I sit here and think about my grandaughter Lorelei. On Sept. 7th I and her mother will be taking her to pre-pre-school. I've seen, held, hugged and kissed this beautiful child every day since the day she was born. The first 4 months of her life I saw her before and after work each day, then I quit work to care for her these last 15 months.

Just the thought of this is breaking my heart as I write this. I know this is the best thing for her, (she's a social bird) and she'll love school and her new playmates, but my days will be empty for awhile.

It never gets easier, to see your children, go their own way.

J. Griffin Barber said...

And now I see where Sarah gets at least a portion of her talent for evoking nostalgia.

I love reading to Isabelle. Not sure I will be able to give it up.

Mark said...

Cynthia, I believe you are right about it never getting easier.

Mark said...

Griffin, thanks for the kind words.

I also hate that I no longer read to my kids. I used to bug them while doing it by changing the words occasionally, but I loved doing it.

Todd said...

I hope he held your hand all the way to class, the SOB! :-D

Mark said...

Not any more, Todd, but that's cool.


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