Rumbling through the neighborhood, with little faces pressed against the glass and tiny hands waving good-byes, the school bus is back. Must be the first day of school. And, oh what a day it is. One day with weeks of preparation and hype leading up to it. Lots of money spent in honor of it. It's Christmas without any presents.
This morning I joined the throng of minivans and sedans outside my son's elementary school. Time to give him over to another lady for eight hours of every weekday. I've met the teacher and I like her a lot. Still, the good-bye is bittersweet. I send him off. A small warrior clad in T-shirt, shorts and sneakers with a backpack hanging off skinny shoulders. Marching in to battle the What Ifs.
What if I can't find anyone to sit next to at lunch?
What if no one will play with me at recess?
What if the teacher calls on me and I don't know the answer?
What if, what if, what if.
Yet, it's hopeful a day too. Anything could happen today. Best friends could meet for the first time. New games discovered. New lessons learned. These days are the days that I both love and hate as a mom. I love to see him grow and learn as a human being. I hate to see him nervous. How I wish I could just go into his class and demand that these children love and accept my child. How I hate to say good-bye to one more summer. Most especially, I hate to say good-bye to another first day of school. Each one only brings us closer to the time there will be no more first days of school.