Today was the first day back to school.
I’ve been through it before. No big deal. I’m not one of those sappy, sentimental moms weeping at the bus stop and wondering where the time has gone.
Or so I thought.
There were no tears at the bus stop. I saved those for the car.
Turns out, today was a pretty emotional day for me and I was caught completely off guard. It started to sink in, how fast time really does go by. How does it happen that most days go by so slowly, yet the years seem to fly by?
My little boy started his freshmen year in high school. He graciously allowed me to take the traditional first day of school picture with his sister at the front door. He looked so handsome. So tall and so grown up. Not like a little boy anymore, but a young man. Almost unrecognizable to me even though I see him every day.
I am very proud of the person he is growing into. He is smart, kind, compassionate, witty, cautious, athletic, artistic and sensitive. Like a typical big brother he fights with his sister, but he pats her head or gives her an affectionate shove when he thinks no one is looking, and it always makes me smile and warms my heart.
It seemed like just yesterday he was a blond, spiky haired toddler with bright pink cheeks and an impish grin.
I was flooded with the memory of all his special “firsts”.
His first cry. His first real giggle. First steps. First tooth. First day on skates. First grade.
Firsts are so special in so many ways. They are milestones and stepping stones. They happen so quickly, often times too quickly to catch on camera. So we rely on the memories like special treasures you tuck away in a drawer or pack in a box in the attic that you might happen to come across when you least expect.
Then another “first” happens and they all seem to come rushing back, and they hit you hard like a crashing wave that takes your breath away, and then you go and cry in the car.
Enjoy every first.
You only get one chance.