The first day of the school year is officially over.
And I couldn’t be happier.
It went by fast.
For the most part.
But at other moments, it slowed to a crawl.
The first day is always … disorienting to me.
I am alone.
I am lonely.
I miss the kids.
And I walk around the house as if in a daze.
I’m never quite sure what to do with myself.
It’s frustrating and sad at the same time.
The kids said their days went well.
Jazz was a bit nervous.
Dude was a bit bored.
Jazz had a scheduling problem and couldn’t find his study hall class.
Dude was uncharacteristically mellow and relaxed.
They saw friends.
They shyly said hello to strangers.
They met each other at their locker after the last bell.
And walked side-by-side to meet me after school.
I found it hard to breathe as I watched them walk towards me.
No longer boys, but young men, confident and ready.
They exuded personality with every lazy step forward.
We went for ice cream for an after-school treat.
And it warmed my heart to listen to them talk about their days.
I forced myself to slow down and savor the moment.
For they will soon be gone.
They handed me a stack of papers when we got home.
I signed a mountain of syllabi.
And read through hundreds of rules.
We talked about the importance of keeping on top of things.
For high school is QUITE different than middle school.
Classes are only a semester long.
There is no PASS/FAIL option anymore.
You either pass the class or take it over.
I worry that Jazz can handle his workload as well as his marching band obligations.
He assures me he can handle it.
I want to believe him.
Schedules have been worked through.
Routines have been established.
It’s time to trudge through the next nine months.
Our new normal has begun.