12 Years: Beginnings & Endings?


Exactly 12 years ago today his journey started.  Today he starts his first day of the last year of high school.  How did we get here?

I remember his first day of Kindergarten mostly because we took photos.  Lots of photos.  Without photos, I remember when we took him up to the elementary school to register him for the fall.  The Principal, who I knew of because of his wonderful reputation and also because he had once been a teacher that my brother had, came out to meet us and talked to my son.  It was such a positive experience.  Although as a mom I was anxious about him going to school when he was on the youngish side (he is a summer baby and cutoff date for entering the school year was Sept 30), I felt good about it.

That first day, as the kindergarteners lined up in the auditorium, I knew he was nervous.  But his friend from up the block was in front of him in line.  Two of his friends from pre-school were in his class.  I knew it would be okay as I (along with my husband) watched them march off.

Mid-day we picked him up as kindergarten was only half day.  He had a bright smile as his teacher let each child go to their respective parent.  (Elementary school teachers were very protective and made sure that each child had someone to go with before letting them out.)  There was such a joy as his father carried him home on his shoulders.

Elementary school was, as I recall now, a great experience.  (With the exception of the retirement of the principal at the end of second grade.  No one could live up to his example and the person who came in next didn't even really try.)  His teachers were caring.  He was the first third grader to walk to school by himself (the first few days I shadowed him) as well as the first to be allowed to walk home without an escort.  (Soon he was joined by a friend who didn't really live on the way, so he'd go a little farther north to the friend's house before cutting back on his own and coming home.)

Middle school was a bit more challenging.  Personally, I think 5th grade is too young to be part of the middle school, but...He carried the backpack that he still uses today which weighed 20 or so pounds (I'm NOT exaggerating) and a trumpet.  He was so small as he walked into the school early that September morning of 2015.  That would change!

When he "graduated" from middle school I was happy; or at least happy that he was out.   A wise woman once said to me that they call it middle school because they always in the middle of some drama.  TRUTH!  My son did not shine in middle school.  The school was too full of drama and issues.  Although most of his teachers were great and the guidance department actually guided.  But I was ready for him to move to high school.

Whatever I thought high school would be, I was NOT anticipating Covid-19.  Things had seemingly been going well.  He was involved with choir (singing at the Empire State Building in January of 2020) and drama group (being the ONLY male freshman in the fall drama). But then one weekend was the spring musical (way too early in the season I thought) and the next the music department trip was called off and the school went remote.  It was only for two weeks, right?  I can barely recall the final quarter of his freshman year and most of his sophomore year.  They were remote.  They were in part time.  Some were in full time; others remained remote.  It all was a blur.  Junior year was mostly "normal" (there were still masks for a good chunk of the year) and he and his classmates finally had the chance to social events.  (PROM!!!!)

Now here we are, the FINAL year; the beginning of the end.   A year that should be fun (I hope) and challenging (as we look toward the next chapter in my son's life).    

The day started early as my son and some friends got up EARLY (yes, you read that right) to see the sunrise.  (Of course it was overcast, so there was no sun.)  To me that seems to be a lovely ritual to start off the year. He was back in plenty of time for me to make him breakfast (try to do something special the first day every year) before driving him to school.  

My son said he was nervous as I drove him in this morning.  He shouldn't be because this is HIS year.  On the other hand, I can understand the nervousness of starting off the final year of high school and realizing how much life is about to change.  It is the beginning of the end of a LONG chapter in life.  Who knows what the next chapter will look like?  He'll know when he gets there.  We'll know when WE get there.

Wish us luck as we start the beginning of the end.  And good luck to all who are heading back to the classroom be it student or teacher.  Wishing, hoping and praying that it's just a "regular" year full of highs and very few lows.


  1. Loved reading this. As he Grandmother, I also can't believe it's his Senior year. We're so proud.


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