This morning while the rest of my neighbors flooded Facebook and Instagram with pictures of their kids on the first day of school, I got up 15 minutes before my son had to leave and didn’t even make him breakfast. I always get butterflies in my stomach before the start of something new so I asked him, “Do you have butterflies?” “No,” he said. “I have depression.” I chuckled, knowing he was only half kidding. He fished around on the desk, grabbed two pencils, slapped them down by his backpack and declared, “School supplies.” Before he could ask I grabbed two notebooks of paper that I spent 21 cents on earlier in the week and dangled them before him. “Purple or red?” I asked. He replied, “Both.” Not because he is planning on taking that many notes but because he is probably planning on losing one of them before noon and needs a backup.
I told him I loved him as he walked out the door. He returned my sentiment as he shuffled out wearing just his socks, and explained that his shoes were probably in his car. I stood in the doorway and watched him slump into the front seat, throw his backpack onto the passenger side and locate his shoes. Seconds later the engine was fired up and he inched out of the street as I said a silent prayer for the millionth time. “Please. Please let this be a better year. Watch over this one.” Then I shut the door, grabbed a breakfast smoothie and headed to the deck to watch an episode of The West Wing on Netflix where I would postpone reality for 43 more minutes.
Today is my last first day of school with my children. If I sound sad about it then perhaps I should give you our school guidance counselor’s phone number; there’s a litany of concerns he desires not to help you with. If he’s not available there’s a Vice Principal in the wings waiting to make your smallest request feel like federal legislation. Not satisfied? Don’t worry, our school security has your back. They only require your driver’s license, fingernail clippings and a blood sample to walk 20 yards to drop off your money to the Athletic office which, incidentally, might make the school safer from parents waltzing in unannounced in their mom jeans but not actually safer from bad guys. Mind you, this doesn’t actually pay for your sport. This is more of a down payment on the fundraiser where you will be required to solicit all of your family and friends to donate a kidney if you really want to be on the team. They try to pass this off as “school spirit”.
So no, I’m not sad or melancholy about this last, first day. Video of me dancing naked to MKTO’s “Classic” in my family room is on its way. (You wish.)