Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Last First Day

This feels like a year with lots of lasts.

I just sent my high school senior off for his first day of school. No bus stop this year—he is driving. (Actually, he is circling our neighborhood to pick up a carload of friends, then heading over to school. I have instructed him to drive very carefully, so as not to risk the health of his passengers, who today include two key players on our high school football team.)

As much as I have looked forward to school starting, and to getting back into a routine, I'm melancholy this morning. Where did the time go? It is a matter of months before we pack my son up and send him to college...and a 20-year chapter of my life closes.

Last year, when my daughter left for college, I read an op-ed by Michael Gerson that captured perfectly how I was feeling.

Parenthood offers many lessons in patience and sacrifice. But ultimately, it is a lesson in humility. The very best thing about your life is a short stage in someone else's story. And it is enough.

So today, the last first day of school. And I am willing time to go just a little slower, and savoring these last few months...of washing load after load of laundry, of running shoes left in the middle of the floor, of insanely big grocery bills, of protein shakes, of late nights waiting for the front door to open...and of a closeness with this son that will pass way, way too soon.

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