Thoughts From Dad…On Starting School
With school starting up again, another summer closes out around the country. In fact, for many, summer has been over for weeks now, regardless of what the thermometer says outside.
For me, this summer is different, and the school year it’s giving way to even more so.
This year, my wife and I will be sending oldest daughter off to kindergarten.
This amazing summer time of our lives, these earliest years of her life has come to an end. All we were going to do has been done. And that wasn’t, will remain forever so. For the school year is about to begin.
And really, is there a more fitting way to relate to those amazing years before they start school. They grow so fast, and race through a million early childhood milestones in the blink of an eye.
Sitting up, crawling, standing, walking…each step applauded.
Her first tooth and last diaper…celebrated.
Discovering new words to say, and eventually, how to read those word…accomplished together.
Yet no summer is endless.
Once it’s realized that their first day of school awaits around the bend, I find myself changing gears, barely suppressing an urge to yell and scream “Wait! Not so fast! Slow down!”
Just like summer. Who really wants summer to end?
Just like parenting. Who really wants their kids to grow up?
And that is exactly what sending your kid off to school means. They are growing up.
It’s what sending our kid off means. She is growing up.
Now, to answer the specific question asked of me lately, about the schooling part…the actual “going off to school” part. To be honest, I couldn’t be more excited. She’s ready and she’s going to do awesome.
My wife and I have a plan for her education. That’s what we do.
We plan. We prepare. We think. We dream. We hope. We do.
But all that planning, preparing, thinking, dreaming, hoping and doing hasn’t slowed the clock down one tiny second.
No matter what we do. She continues to grow up.
And you know what?
She couldn’t possibly be more excited. She loves growing up.
Which begs the question, shouldn’t I be just as excited for her?
As her Daddy, shouldn’t that excitement mean more to me than my own remorse.
It’s my issue to get over, not hers. It’s my dread holding me back, not hers.
It’s a hard thing to get over. But as her Daddy, doing the hard things is what I am supposed to do. And so I cope
…which means it’s time for one last analogy.
And tonight, as the subject and the calendar flood over me, that means a stiff, proverbial drink.
And the cocktail recipe?
One part sorrow.
Two parts joy.
Shaken…very, very hard.
To help hide the tears.
And to help keep me from yelling and screaming…
“Wait! Not so fast! Slow down!”
Written by Lance Hedges