Molly clearly wanted to move things along quickly yesterday as we set up for our annual jump off the front porch, first day of school picture.
“Let me know when you’re ready,” she said, just after hustling me outside.
With the sun just stretching out over the football field next to our house, I squinted down at my camera settings.
I looked up just in time to see her flying at me.
I clicked a few times.
“Did you get it?” she asked.
“Well, it’s kind of blurry,” I said. “I thought I was supposed to tell you when I was ready.”
“I saw you nod,” she said as she headed back into the house.
I wasn’t ready.
But, blurry pictures seemed just about right for the last, first day of school picture of my parental career. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this particular last. I’ve had little people flying at me off various front porches since 1992. I expected to be sad.
But I wasn’t and I thought about that as I headed off for my morning jog, which, all summer, had been utterly devoid of human company. I failed to factor in the whole first day of school thing.
To my horror, I found pods of high school students lined up along my route, waiting for the first day of school bus. I thought about changing my route. Instead I decided to embrace the opportunity.
“Have a great first day!” I yelled in a chipper voice as I huffed past the first group.
Mostly, they just stared at me.
“Thanks!” said a sweet freshman boy.
For the next group, I upped the ante.
“Have a great year!” I yelled.
They looked up from their personal devices and stared.
“No,” said one particularly morose boy.
I stopped and turned around for a moment or two.
“Wait, did you just say, ‘no’?” I asked. “You can’t say no. You have to at least try! You’re going to have a really great year!”
I had to cut myself off at that point. Even I was becoming embarrassed by the level of my enthusiasm. I lumbered on and spied a mother hiding behind a tree as I approached the next group. I saw this. I honestly did.
Before I reached that bunch of kids, they loaded themselves onto the bus, so I satisfied myself with a hearty wave.
I continued my run with an odd pep in my step. I wanted to share my optimism with the tree-hiding mom, but I left her in peace.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been doing this mom thing for a very long time. I know exactly who those kids are. I know their parents, their friends and their teachers. I think I even know the cool young adults they’re about to become.
Here’s something I also know, 2015 first day of school people, it’s going to be a great year.
Go get ‘em!
Molly was barefoot and anxious to get back to the scones she was toasting, so the pictures are less than clear, as is my own reaction to Molly’s last first day of school. Still, I think they sum up our attitude. It’s going to be an exciting and incredibly quick year.
Here we go…