I remember my oldest child’s first day of school. The previous day he got stung by a bee. His face swelled. His vibrant blue eyes disappeared into puffy folds of flesh.
Secretly, I was glad.
That bee’s little stinger bought me a few days. Gave me the luxury putting off that dreaded moment when my son would leave my fulltime care.
Or, so I thought.
My son was not a sniveling sentimentalist like me. The next day, he put on his new clothes and asked me to tie his shoes.
“It’s the first day of school, ” he said through a mask of red flesh, “Let’s go.”
That was twenty six years ago.
There’s no more pushing and shoving through Staples. No desperate mom swatting my hand away as I grab the last box of crayons off the shelf.
Funny thing is, I have no regrets. Not one.
Maybe I should have a few. I let a lot of opportunities slip by.
- backed off of voice lessons and singing at weddings when my children got more involved in school.
- dropped out of my master’s program because I couldn’t study and care for a new born and three small boys at the same time.
- turned down an chance to become a certified high school teacher just so that I would be available to help a struggling child through school.
Some of my friends thought I was crazy. Others thought I was just afraid to take a risk. Maybe they were right. Maybe I was wrong. After all, when the kids are gone, what’s a person to do?
Well, I know one thing. I’m not agonizing over what might have been. Every minute I spent with my kids was worth it. Every day I am glad I did what I did.
Fact is, you can always go back to school. Find another voice teacher. Start some kind of new venture or career.
Those school years? They only last so long.
Then, they’re gone.