A new school year begins today. The beginning of the end of a season in my life.
My son, a high school senior, is the youngest of three children. So this school year is filled with many last things….
· Last first day of school with yours truly photographing my son on the front porch.
· Last soccer season with yours truly shoving cleats next to the wall to keep from tripping over them.
· Last time for Back-to-School Night, Homecoming, Spirit Week, Spring Formal.
I kept baby books for all my children, documenting the first time they ate solid food, took their first step, or lost a tooth.
I never realized when something happened in their lives for “the last time.”
Like brushing one’s teeth, a bedtime story was a ritual for my children. Long after they could read on their own, we took turns reading pages from chapter books. But there’s still a bookmark in Eldest, where I closed the book and said goodnight to my youngest son years ago, not knowing it was the last time we’d read together.
Now I know, every date that I scratch off my school calendar is one day closer to the last day of school, forever, and then what?
Who am I? If not, “my kid’s” mom?
What is my purpose if not running to the store at the last minute to buy poster board for a project? Why set the alarm clock, if no one needs breakfast or a peanut butter sandwich for a school lunch? Where do I go for entertainment if not a field trip, soccer game, or a choir concert?
Long gone is the excitement of newly purchased school supplies: the smell of fresh crayons, plastic lunch boxes, glue sticks, and wide-lined paper.
A backpack laden with textbooks, a duffle bag for sports gear, and a smart phone are my son’s school accessories.
We hug goodbye, and he leaves for school, his mind elsewhere.
I wipe wet eyes, envisioning him in a blue, graduation cap and gown.
Wasn’t it yesterday when his name was printed in bold letters on an apple name tag, and hung with yarn around his neck?
Like the other moms in the classroom, I had hovered over my kindergarten child, hesitant to say goodbye when he looked up at me and spoke matter-of-fact, “You can go now.”
Fast forward to his senior year, and I’m still trying to go…
And I’m missing him, because today is the “last” first day of school, the end of a season in my life.
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)