Over at BrianKaneOnline, my friend Brian has posted some thoughts about his daughter’s first day of school. This time of year has been filled with a sense of possibility for me since I began my career as a schoolchild (I’ve since moved on, thank you) at the same time Brian did. The September sky, crisp morning air, the smell of new school clothes, notebooks (the ones with paper, not the ones with keyboards), pencils, and classrooms that had been shut up since the previous June, combined with new teachers, new subjects, seeing kids I hadn’t seen all summer and meeting new ones – all of it fed an almost giddy air of expectation. Having taken that journey ourselves and now watching our children set sail for the distant shores of their futures, at least for me, brings that all back.
Our three daughters are further into their journeys than Charlotte is now, being a junior and sophomore in high school, and in seventh grade, respectively. While the first day of school is, at this point, not the emotional experience it was watching them each taking their first turn disappearing into the school bus, it still has a bittersweet air. Their futures are waiting to be discovered and, while I know things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would or that you would have hoped, those futures seem so full of promise. It won’t be long before we’re looking at colleges in a far more serious way than we have been so far, and wondering where the little girls who first stepped onto the school bus went.