First Day of School

One of my very good friends confided in me last Friday after another End-of-Band-Camp-Dinner. This is her daughter’s Senior year in high school. She is an only child. My friend cried on my shoulder as we headed to put the cafeteria to rights, remembering her daughter as she grew and how close they have become recently, sharing with me how much more demonstrative her daughter has become. Being the “expert” and having graduated 3 of my 4 children, I put my arm around her and expressed how much I understood. I encouraged her to enjoy every day. Graduation will be here before you know it. After all, they grow so fast. It seems that once they start high school the time zips faster than the speed of light! I was envious that she was going to reach empty nest before me.

One would think that after a previous 18 “First Days of School,” the 19th would be a piece of cake, right? The first day of school was never a really big deal to me. I always had another child waiting behind. I chuckled last night as my daughter and her BFF were packing their backpacks, preparing for whatever may befall them in high school; an umbrella, a change of clothes, make-up, hair brush, glasses case even scissors in case they needed to cut some paper.

The girls are riding the bus this year to school for the first time. This is the first time I will not be taking them to school and watch them enter the building. Fortunately the stop is on our corner. My daughter’s BFF arrived early, before it was even light outside. I took the yearly pictures, in which they cooperated and even smiled this time. My husband and I walked them to the corner and even chronicled this event with pictures in front of the stop sign. I saved the embarrassment of my daughter by being seen in public in my pajamas, and hid behind a Crepe Myrtle in the front yard, awaiting the arrival of the school bus. I could hear the bus approaching as it rounded the corner and the squealing of brakes as it stopped in front of the girls. The doors opened and from behind that Crepe Myrtle I documented them ascending into the dark interior. I stood up and headed into the house and found myself crying for the first time on the first day of school. My baby is growing up and in 4 short years she will be gone and making her way in the world.

I texted my friend after I collected myself sharing with her this time, how surprised I was at how this “First Day of School” affected me. Her response was, “I feel your heart…” Number 19 “First Day of School” down…only 3 more to go…

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