Yesterday marked my 20th straight first day of school as a mom, beginning in 1992 when I spent the entire walk countering my oldest son Charlie’s well-constructed argument that he was old enough to go to kindergarten by himself.
When I’m not blinking back unexpected tears, I love the first day of school. (I believe the whoosh of wind generated by an unbearably swift passage of time occasionally assaults parental eyeballs and causes ducts to overflow, but I digress.) Generally, I really enjoy the first day of school. Freshly pressed and full of anticipation, first day students bounce a little lighter on their feet.
That’s why our traditional first day of school picture involves our kids and their friends leaping off our front porch as I snap photos. Through two decades, several cameras including film, digital and smart phone varieties, and all kinds of weather, I have stood near the street and shot photos of my jumping children.
I have never, ever, snapped a decent first day of school photo.
Gamely, we continue.
Yesterday, as I failed through several attempts and smart phone settings to catch Molly mid-air, a large multi-windowed vehicle snuck right behind us, belched a little exhaust and ambled on its way.
Day one and Molly missed the school bus.
Fortunately for her, though, I had just finished my morning jog, because nothing says high school cool like sitting in a car next to your sweating mother who has jammed a bright yellow “I’m retired having fun is my job” baseball hat from someone’s old Halloween costume on her head.
As we arrived, Molly gracefully unfolded herself from an impressively low slouch and made her way into the building.
Trapped in a steady flow of student drop-off traffic, I politely refrained from leaping out of the car and snapping one last picture.