Tuesday, September 4, 2018
The First of the Lasts
Today will be the last First Day of School for my daughter as she begins her senior year of high school. Sure, there will be a first day of college but that will not be the same. She will be off on her own. There will be no first day photo as she rushes out the door. There will be no pained moaning sound as I pat her gently to rouse her from slumber.
I’m not sure if this marks the last of the firsts or the first of the lasts. I’m not awake enough at this point to parse that. All I know is that I so enjoy the young person my daughter has become and today I am facing the reality that the day when I have to let her go is approaching. I used to worry about whether she would be ready. Today I am wondering whether I will be ready.
But it’s only the first day of school, you think; there’s plenty of time before that. There will be college applications and concerts and plays and a host of senior-oriented events. There will be Homecomjng and the Prom. Yes, there will be time, and I intend to savor every minute. In my heart I feel that it is all one headlong rush to that moment when we are sitting at Merriweather and she gets her diploma.
And it all begins today.
What if I just didn’t open that bedroom door? What if I let her sleep in? Could I stop the forward march of time? Could I keep her—my sweet, intense, funny, musical whirlwind—for a little while longer?
Maybe you have children who will begin school today. Maybe you don’t. In any case, I am guessing that you have experienced what it feels like to see the future coming and knowing that you must embrace it. It’s exciting. And painful. And tentative. There’s no turning back.
Happy First Day of School.