Yesterday was the last day of school for our school district and there’s something about this time of year that makes me so emotional. Today I committed the act I try to avoid at all costs: driving by our local high school when it is lunch time or when school has just gotten out. Today I drove by as school got out. Ugh! It takes at least five minutes to go from one end of the school to the other when this unfortunate navigational misfortune takes place. My blood typically boils when the kids refuse to let the cars pass and take forever to walk in the crosswalks, but today was a bit different.
As my SUV slowly crawled down the street, I was instantly transported back to my years at Pacifica High School and my own personal feelings that came with the end of the year. I loved seeing the yearbooks my friends and I had worked so hard designing in our fellow students’ hands. I loved the idea of three months of freedom. I adored that excitement of feeling full of possibilities and the fresh slate of the following school year.
And within that five minute crawl past the high school, my eyes fell upon a group of boys talking. I imagined they were making plans for the summer. Swimming at one boy’s pool perhaps? Summer jobs? Maybe a road trip or what movies they wanted to see together. Then I imagined these boys being MY boys and my eyes welled with tears. They will go to this high school one day. In the not-so-distant future, they will be sharing last-day-of-school pats on the back with a yearbook under one arm. One day, my boys will be like these boys making excited plans for the future, cracking jokes, and goofing around. They’ll be tall and gangly, but have fabulous skin, of course. I tried to pick out which kids my kids will look like and who will make up their group of friends. Will they hang out with the kids on the steps, the kids under the tree, or that big group on the corner. I then slipped into a fairy tale in which my boys want my husband and me to play an active roll in their clubs or teams–a time when I’ll wear Burroughs High School red to their games and maybe wear their letterman jacket as I sit in the stands…if they haven’t already loaned it to some (stupid) girl.
All of this happened in the span of five minutes. When I pressed the brake pedal at the final stop sign at the corner of the school, I glanced into my back seat and saw three beautiful little boys all in some sort of car seat or booster. Their cheeks are still chubby with baby fat and they all have some sort of shmutz on their faces–even the littlest one had a little dried milk on his chin. As I placed my foot on the accelerator I was instantly thankful for the precious days I have with my little boys and I vowed to treasure the present and look forward to the future.