Friday, August 28, 2015

School Days

Dear teacher, I talk no matter where I am. Moving my seat will not help. Kid Quotes.

I don't know why I remember this...

I was a month shy of four years old. For some reason I was standing at the corner of the fence that separated our front yard from the neighbor's side yard. They had a corner lot, their house faced - never mind. I was looking past a mature weeping willow tree toward the nearby T intersection. In 1958 it seemed a healthy distance, but when we drove down the street in 2004 it was a mere couple of car lengths.

A school bus had just accepted several children from our neighborhood. A woman...a mom...walked away as the folding door closed. In my mind's eye I can see her - tall and slender. She wore, at least according to a fifty-eight year old memory, dark Capris and a light blouse. Short, wavy hair in the fashion of the age, and she was crying. Hand over her mouth to stifle, or at least muffle, her sniffles. She wiped her eyes as she walked home. My mom commented "That will be you next year."

My mom was thirty one.

Our grandson Graham started Pre-K yesterday. In the pictures his mom sent he wore a huge grin, clutching a bag, and a name tag. She and Graham's dad dropped him off, intent on staying. Their little miracle boy let them know he'd be fine. So they left.

He came home full of stories to tell, of a new friend and an inside joke. He'd had adventures, interacted with people and enjoyed the better part of a day away from home. He had entered the next phase of his life.

His mom is thirty one.

The eddies of time are witness to experiences that transcend generational differences. Kids climb onto buses, or enter the front doors of their new schools with their faces looking forward. Behind them, the men and women who did so much to prepare them for those moments huddle and pause, hoping their children are ready to greet the world.

Meanwhile, grandparents allow a tear to escape, that all of the things they hoped for so many years ago have come to pass.

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