August 22, 2012: The Start of School

The boys pose for a pix with Grandma and Grandpa in Zach's college  apartment
Grant went back to school today. He was my final of three to start which officially closes out our summer of 2012. All of our vacations are now in the books. Family reunions are done and out-of-town visitors have gone back to their respective homes. Grant and I did enjoy a day at the zoo on Monday to add a bit of a "bang" to our summer close. But along with a non-ceremonial beginning to the school year, it was also a reminder that the days of my boys' carefree youth are numbered.

Grant is twelve. Although on Monday he was excited about the prospect of a day at the zoo (with his mom, no less); I am keenly aware that the probability of this being the case next year at age thirteen is slim. An era is closing in on me.

Our first day of school in years past included much hoopla in the preparations; hours organizing school supplies into new backpacks, filling out stacks of paperwork, labeling uniform shirts, and planning school lunches. The days leading up to school were filled with much excitement and many hours of my time.

This year was markedly different than years past. The "first day of school picture" included only Grant and a promise by me not to post on FaceBook (per Grant's request). Our ride to school was like any other day, but with a new back pack. And this year I had no involvement in the filling of the back pack. Back-to-school night was also a non-event with some quick pleasantries with the teacher and Grant's choosing a locker. The entire event, including drive time, was no longer than 45 minutes.

Ben, son number two, started his junior year of high school last week and by all accounts (a couple of grunts and nods of the head), school appears to be going fine for him. He keeps his own schedule, sets his own alarm clock, and monitors his own homework. Short of making dinner and paying his tuition, I really don't serve much of a purpose for Ben anymore. He is quickly becoming his own man.

Zach, my oldest and a sophomore in college, did show with me his first semester schedule (created via a joint effort between Zach and his adviser...no mom). He was also thankful for our Cosco run to fill his apartment pantry and a paid meal the night before college began. But past the tuition payment and less the meal making, that is about all I have to offer. Independence is in overdrive at age nineteen and a day I have been dreaming about. Well, at least one I thought I was dreaming about.

A older friend once told me to never wish time away. I have always remembered this advice in the midst of the childhood temper tantrums and multi-tasking insanity. I really did try to enjoy my kids and not dream of the days ahead. But regardless of my efforts and use of the time that has passed, the day has come. My role has officially evolved into a supportive parent. <sigh>.

So now it's time to watch these little birds fly on their own a bit. And although I will stay perched in the nest, I am sure that my wayward birds will need their good old mom again in the days ahead. In the meantime, I will stick to my mantra of "the cup is half full" as I try to remember all the things I dreamed of doing with my new found free time...

(Some pix from years past...)

2001 ~ Ben (K), Grant and Zach (3rd)

2004 ~ Zach (6th), Mom and Ben (3rd)

2007 ~ Grant (2nd) and Ben (6th)





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