The Last, First Day of School

As back to school time begins for everyone, you remember so well, your last, first day of school, in the fall of 2009.  You took a picture of your handsome son standing beside his car, ready to drive off to high school as a senior.  He complained good-naturedly, of course.

“Mom, why do you have to take a picture of me?” he asked, tossing his backpack into the trunk.

“To have a record because this is a special day,” you replied, quickly clicking.  “We’ve been doing this every year since you were two.”  Your stomach clenched for a minute, as you remembered the photo of the toddler in the bright blue nautical shirt and Osh Kosh jeans, getting out of your car and taking the hand of his first pre-school teacher.

Meanwhile, neighbors walked their dogs past our house.

“It’s my last, first day of school!” you announced.  They waved and nodded in understanding; they, too had gone through this milestone.

Standing on tiptoe, you gave your senior son a hug good-bye, and then you watched as he backed out of the driveway, just as you watched him leave for college two weeks ago.

Now what?

Well, first of all, you make the BIG mistake of stopping by the Office store to get supplies, where all kinds of parents and children are in the aisles, stocking up.  You miss buying school supplies–following your children as they tried to find the exact size ring binder, the best planner.  But man are you glad not to be buying and installing a locker-mate.  When they first came out, and probably even still, those things collapsed at the drop of a hat.  My daughter’s fuchsia one was as wobbly as a baby giraffe.  Duct tape seemed to do the trick.  The next fall we opted to buy the small plastic crate at Target to place sideways in the locker–worked like a dream.

You scoot out of the store, dodging families, and head back home.  You then drive by numerous Jeeps, Rav-4s and Pathfinders with spray-paint and shoe polish all over the windows and sides–Sexy SENIOR!  SENIORS 2011 ROCK!  You smile, remembering back when your daughter was a senior, and her last, first day of high school. She and the other seniors gathered off-site in order to spray away, and then they entered the campus in a long caravan to proclaim their seniordom.

Then you get stuck in a carpool line.  First the policeman tries to wave you in, and then stops.  He must see how old you look, and waves you on by.  Can’t he at least card you? You have GOT to get out of this school traffic.

You remember last year, when your senior son had returned home after class.  You dug out his old photo taken on the first day of 6th grade, and showed it to him side by side, in comparison, to the one you’d taken that morning.  In the old picture there was no car as a prop, so instead he stood at the front gate of the picket fence, beaming, his book bag appearing huge as a moon over his back.  Now at six-one, the fence would be nowhere in sight.

“Wow,” he said, as he took the photos.  “I see what you mean.”

You took both photos and stuck them on your bulletin board.  Now you can’t place where the old pre-school photo got to–time to crunch up to the attic and sort through photo boxes…well, maybe in the spring.

© ReelingintheYears, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given toReelingintheYears with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


A freelance writer who revels in the 1970's...and today. Thoughts on being a baby baby boomer and empty nester. Welcome to the Saturday evening porch.
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2 Responses to The Last, First Day of School

  1. Such a touching post. At a meeting last night, a mom was commenting about taking her daughter’s picture next to the car packed up for college. Another mom said, “We have a picture tree in our front yard. You know, where we took a photo of the kids on their first day of school all the way through leaving for college.”

  2. Amiable, I love the picture tree! Thanks so much for sharing!

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