Tomorrow is the first day of school for South Pasadena students. For some, like Little Bit, it's the very first day of school. Tomorrow, a new generation of intrepid five year olds will leave behind the soft blankie of early childhood for Kindergarten and all of its big kid wonders.
That means today is a special day. It marks not only the end of the summer of 2010, but the end of the preschool era and a moment for many parents to look at each other and say, "Wait... what happened to the baby?" It's an exciting and hopeful day, a day worthy of grand summer festivities involving water balloons, kites and ice cream. (Two scoops. Not one.) It's a day of little voices shouting big plans. ("I'm going to learn to be an astronaut, a ballet dancer, a movie star, an ice skater and a robot engineer!") It's a day of unscuffed shoes and unmarked notebooks, of slates that are blank and imaginations that are filled to the brim.
It's a day we probably won't remember years from now when we look at family pictures. Sure, we'll have the ones from tomorrow -- the one with the big smile and the new backpack, the one with the brave walk down that long school sidewalk. We'll always remember tomorrow. But let's remember today, too. That day when being little was still carefree. That day when fairies were still real and monsters were simply fuzzy creatures from Pixar, not mean kids on a school playground. That day in August when possibility stretched out ahead with an infinite number of beautiful, exciting, stupid, confusing, heartbreakingly wonderful choices.