January 9, 2014: A Year of Lasts

Morning drive for school drop-off
I love dropping Grant off for school each morning. There were days in years past when we were always rushed on this morning drive. I considered this activity a "check the box" of starting our morning. Finding Grant a ride was merely a necessary accommodation. But not this year. I clear my calendar and enjoy the ride.

Grant is an eighth grader. The big Kahuna. The last year for the legacy of Lane boys. We started at St. Wenceslaus the fall of 1998. This puts us into our 15th consecutive year at our grade school. That's a lot of years.

Most parents in my position are burnt out by now. I have seen it many times over the years. As the parent of a young Zachary, I never understood the mothers of 8th grade trail-enders; praying for the day of 8th grade graduation to arrive. Coincidentally, the mothers of the boys were even more enthusiastic.

I would observe from afar, wondering if this day of wanting grade school to be over would come to me too. I have typically enjoyed the grade school years, so never quite understood why someone would wish this time away. I had resigned myself that this change of heart and sentiment would hit me like a brick in the years ahead.

Well, the year has arrived. We are a mere months away from leaving grade school forever. Grant is ready. High school is an arm reach away. Me? I would describe my feeling as melancholy. I'm ready to move on, but am enjoying every last minute of having a grade school child.

Ironically, I experienced the same feeling fourteen years ago. Pregnant with Grant, I knew the pregnancy to be my last. I savored every moment. From the first feeling of flutter movement in my belly to late no-sleep nights with pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, I would remind myself that this was it. The last time I would experience this stage in my life. So I smiled and enjoyed the moments that made up those nine months.

Fast forward to eighth grade. The daily ride is to school. It is quiet. Relaxed. Just me and my 13 year old. With coffee in hand and Grant in the passenger seat, we discuss the lunch menu for the day and our plans for the night.

Instead of worrying about making it to work early or checking "getting Grant to school" off the list, I enjoy the ride. Few words are spoken , but it's our time. Lull before the high school storm. No wishing time away.

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