The kids know the way to carry on through the day, la la la la! And that is exactly why I am both anticipating and saddened for the start of school. This is that bittersweet time of the year where families settle into the big routine and big yellow makes its way down ever street, alley and corner in cul-de-sacville. I am part anxious for this moment because it means this year I have two boys off to school. Yet, it also brings with it the realization that my babies are growing up and growing up fast!
I remember four years ago when I sent my oldest off to Kindergarten. It was with great hesitation that I did. He was a little on the shy side then and I worried how he would do. I participated in every event at the school just for a chance to be close to him. Cookie Castle Co-Chair, school photographer, room parent and attended every parent teacher meeting like my life depended on it. I also had a test your patience 13 month old at home.
So on that note, it would be a lie if I said I wasn’t anticipating my second sons start of Kindergarten back then. Four years ago, it seemed like this day would never come. Now, it is almost here and I absolutely do not want to see him go! I had a moment yesterday all to myself. I went out on the front porch at the break of dawn and opened his Kindergarten packet. Therein contained his bus number, teacher assignment and supply list. As I started to leaf through the contents of the packet, I had a moment. A tear started to stroll down my cheek and in an instant I was sobbing and couldn’t believe I ever wished for this day.
It was there in that moment that I wanted him to be 13 months again! As I stared out into the front yard I could see him waddling down after my oldest son saying, “bye-bye” and waving his chubby little fingers when the bus drove away. I remember thinking as we walked back up the driveway, it is now just you and me kid. Now fast forward four years and what I pictured yesterday is a glimpse in the past. It is time to walk down the driveway again, holding onto another hand and wishing him off.
I know I am going to be a mess and then I will look at my youngest son as we hold hands back up the driveway and once again think, it is now just you and me kid. Then what? Then what will I do when big yellow takes all three of my boys in a few years? I will be walking up the driveway not holding a hand, but by myself. I will probably be a wreck but then like all things, we move on. We step forward. We anticipate the next path our lives weave even amongst all the uncertainty. With anticipation, we can only look forward and cherish the past.
So big yellow, be good to my boys. Protect them from careless drivers. Cushion their bottoms through all the first day bumps. Give a soft jerk if a bully is going a bit too far. Hold them safe for me. As you drive away with my babies and I become a distant reflection may the hum of your engine calm their nerves. Upon the conclusion of the days’ journey, open your arms and let them scurry out to meet mine!
I will welcome our reuniting with fresh-baked cookies and milk. We can talk about the journey and another milestone completed during dinner. When we are getting ready for bed I think I might just tuck them in one extra time. I might head back into their bedrooms for one more kiss and hug. And when they drift off to sleep, I will whisper out one more I love you!
“Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. And it is still true, no matter how old you are-when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten