Monday, August 22, 2016

Remembering another "First Day of School"

Today my oldest started his last year of elementary school, and my littlest is not so little anymore.
I am the mom of a fifth grader and a third grader.
We have gone from light up superhero sneakers to high-top Vans.
In honor of today, I go back to another First Day...a pivotal one (probably more for me than them), when my oldest started kindergarten and my littlest was still quite little.

The First Day
*Originally published here on August 23, 2011

I was not prepared.

I bought all of the supplies.

Attended the meet-and-greet.

Packed their backpacks.

Reviewed shoe-tying.

Charged the camera battery.

Woke up extra early.

But I was not prepared.

On that first day

when I had done it all

checked it all off the lists

made sure we were all ready

I was not prepared.

I was not prepared for the pain

of the realization

that I was leaving my littlest one


for the first time


in a school

without his brother.

I was not prepared for the onslaught

of memories brought upon

by a moment captured on film:

a big brother helping a little brother

find his cubby

tuck his lunchbox

begin his day

exactly as he, himself, had done once

on his first day at the same little school.

With it came the sudden awareness

of the passing of time

the acknowledgement, for the first time,

that it is true

what they say:

they grow up too fast.

I was not prepared for the look of panic

fleeting and barely noticeable

but definitely there

in that second

just as we left.

I was not prepared for the sobs that choked me

shocked me

the whole way from one school to the next

where it started all over:

more shock, more tears

all my own.

I was not prepared for the swell of pride

unexplainable, almost.

After all, I had never been one of Those Mothers

and really, it was "just kindergarten"

and certainly, yes, a day of note, but of pride?





I was not prepared for this feeling

that I was a mother

more than ever before

in that insignificant moment:

a nametag found and pinned

a bookbag draped over a chair

a boy

my boy


finding his seat

in kindergarten.

"Look. This is where you put your lunchbox."
This was the exact cubby Ben had used when he attended his preschool.
Coincidentally, his little brother was assigned the same exact one years later.
The fact that I captured this moment on film still makes me tear up.

The precise moment when the nametag was "found and pinned."


1 comment:

  1. This brought tears to my eyes! Time just goes too fast....


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