I'm not sure how it happened. How did we get from there to here? Is it possible that all of these years have gone by? I've barely gotten over sending my first born to kindergarten, and now, here he is on his way to his first day of high school.
I watched from the front door this morning as my oldest child took the long walk down the street and turned both a physical and symbolic corner. Bear in mind, that as the mother of a now-freshman in high school, I was watching not with the door open, but with it closed, through a single pane of leaded glass that distorted my vision, and made what I was witnessing seem even less real.
My heart pounded as I watched him walk further and further down the street. I could see him nervously shifting his new messenger bag (apparently THE thing to have if you're a freshman boy), taking his hands in and out of his pockets and making sure that his hair was still just right. At last, he got to the end of the street, and I saw him look back over his shoulder, just for a split-second. My breath caught in my chest. I couldn't help but wonder if he looked back just to see if I was watching, or if he looked back because he wasn't any more certain than I about this monumental moment in his life.
To be honest, I feel a little silly. I should have seen this coming, shouldn't I, all those years ago? Even on the first day of Kindergarten, didn't I think of this day and know that it was coming?
When we're children, time seems to inch by like water dribbling drop by drop out of a faucet that hasn't been closed quite tightly enough. The days drag on and on, a fifteen-minute trip in the car requires all manner of I-pods, books and drawing pads, and still, it seems to a child that the destination will never come. To an adult, and maybe a parent in particular, the important milestones in life seem to topple together, one by one, at a breakneck pace. I remember the day that my son was born. I remember the drive to the hospital, the room number that I was in (402), and the way that he smelled at the second that they handed him to me and told me that he was mine. I remember all of these moments, and while my mind knows that fourteen years have passed, my heart aches that those years seem to pass so quickly.
It's an emotional day for me, as I struggle to come to terms with the balance between my fears and my pride. I worry about my son as he enters this new phase in his life. I hope that he will find success in his studies and acceptance with his peers. I hope that he will make the most of all of the opportunities that high school can provide him, while keeping his feet on the ground and his goals in sight. On the other hand, I can't help but swell with pride! This tiny being that came into my life fourteen years ago is striding toward adulthood with excitement and an open mind. I see that little person becoming more of a young man each and every day, and with my coffee in hand, I wait for him to come back around that corner.