The ghosts of "first days" past are haunting me.
When I had three children in school, "first days" were always the culmination of a mad frenzy of shopping and haircuts and intense preparation. They always started with a few tears, and ended with ice cream. It's been a long-standing tradition.
This year, with Black Jack (21) in college, and The Edge (of 17) and Halfway Between (10 & 20) both homeschooled, the "frenzy" was relegated to a quick shopping trip with 7th Heaven for ten dollars' worth of school supplies and a new t-shirt for her first day. Her dad and I walked her to class yesterday, snapped a picture. . .and that was it.
The Edge had joined her friends at the K-Mart parking lot for the "Senior Parade." She came bopping in an hour later, her poor girl-car covered in shoe polish, and announced how great it was to be homeschooled. "I'm going to get to do all the fun stuff, without all the drama!"
Oh, really? We've come a long way from "You've ruined my life!"
A few moments later, Black Jack and his affianced showed up. "Why is it so quiet?"
"First day of school. . ."
Then Halfway Between meandered in from his late sleep, "Ahhhhh, this is the best 'first day of school' ever. . ." he said. He starts his lessons in September.
I sat, surrounded by my young-adult children, and was struck by the weirdness of the moment. I tend to get very wrapped-up in the "Mommy" aspect of my life, and 7th Heaven is such a powerhouse in her singular kidness, that I still lump them all into the "kid" category. But I guess that's really not the case anymore.
I spent the next hour or so just listening to my "babies" discuss movies, funny commercials, work, plans, physics and two or three more references to how quiet it was. . .and then the Edge exclaimed, "Ice cream!"
"Oh, yeah. . .first day ice cream!" Her brother chimed in.
"We ALWAYS have ice cream on the first day. . .let's go!"
"That's it?" I asked. "Y'all are just going to leave me alone? Okay. . .well, don't you have anything to say to me?"
"Oh, yeah. . .Uh, Mom, can we have some money?"
Yep, I'm definitely haunted. . .pay no attention should you hear me as I scream (or is it ice cream . . .)
7 months ago