Yikes. "Wait! Stop!" I yelled and I fumbled for my camera.
I was never very good at that. Some parents are far better at it than I, those glossy reminders of first days; from kindergarten on up. There's Amy in her yellow dress or Joey wearing the t-shirt that Nana gave him. Kyle with his Batman lunch box and Erin hesitantly trying to size up Mrs. Richards.
No. Not me. There's a blurry kindergarten photo somewhere, his face obscured by a precocious female classmate as she waved confidently to her mother. It was hard to focus amidst the tears (mine and his) as I gently tried to pry his little hands from my legs. Despite both our our desire to hang on a little longer, requests for home-schooling and Peter Pan promises, he grew up anyway and here he was, marching off to begin his final year of this 12 year journey.
When his brother began his final march just a couple of years ago, I promised myself I would savor it all, taking the time to notice the changes that were bound to occur, hoping that my attention would allow it to last longer.
It didn't. It flew by.
And so I know. This will too. This last year of childhood. These moments that have consumed my life for longer than I can remember. Back to school shopping. Bagged lunches. The mounds of laundry. Editing papers until the wee hours of the morning. Teacher meetings. Football and basketball and baseball games. College applications and service projects and hours spent driving up and down the freeway. Sports banquets and award ceremonies. Visits to campus to drop off forgotten reports and permission slips and baseball cleats. The knowing smiles of the secretaries after the third trip in a week.
There will be other firsts. Wonderful, important, fantastic firsts. Picture worthy firsts of a life full of living.
But not this one. Not these moments. Soon they will all go away, relinquished to memories of a time long ago. This was the last first of this kind.
Thankfully, I remembered to take a picture.