Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Day Before School Starts

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.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photo and prose. Very beautiful. Most luck and joy to your daughter at school.

Dixie Jane said...

Could it be? Our baby girl ready to begin school. I remember your first day of school. May the experience be happy for both of you.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful writing, and you caught a great shadow from the cute kid.

Mister Earl said...

Why are you making me cry when I'm no even awake yet? What did I ever do to you? Beautiful, Laurie. Hope you all have a wonderful day.

altadenahiker said...

This beautiful piece will lock in the memory. Well done.

WV: Futurse. Uncanny

dbdubya said...

Beautiful, Laurie, just beautiful. May tomorrow be filled with anticipation and joy for Little Bit, and not too much angst or sense of loss for her parents.

TheChieftess said...

Wonderful LA!!! You've captured the mood of this very important day beautifully!!! Little Bit will have a marvelous send off...she's a lucky little girl!!!
And what a darling picture!!!

wv: emarldfl...maybe a brand new student can figure out what this one means!!!

Shanna said...

Pass me the Kleenex, Mr.Earl. This one got to me too.

So tenderly written.

Judy Williams said...

I'm crying too. Darn you~~

Some early pics of my boys' first days popped right into my head. Just wait til she goes off to high school!!!

Mister Earl said...

OK, Laurie, take this!

ONLY A DREAM

TheChieftess said...

Darn you Mr E!!! Now you've got us all needing tissues!!!

Mister Earl said...

Chieftess: Did you listen all the way to the killer last verse?

Shanna said...

...And on another note...

That is a dance she is doing. Those arms and hand gestures are so graceful..!!!

Margaret said...

Good luck to little bit!

TheChieftess said...

All the way, Mr. E!!!

Judy Williams said...

Wow, Mr. E!!! What a wonderful performance by Mary Chapin Carpenter!

Petrea said...

You'll remember, Laurie. You've done that for yourself and for Little Bit with this photo and post. For us, too.

Trish said...

ok, you took me right back to MY first day at Monterey Hills...Mrs Fujimoto, Mrs Field...were that life were that simple today...

May the Little Bit have a wonderful day and life on the way to becoming that "astronaut, a ballet dancer, a movie star, an ice skater and a robot engineer".

And Earl...I am just thankful I own stock in Kimberly-Clark...aka makers of Kleenex...Mary CC took me back a few years too.

Laurie said...

Thank you so much, everyone. It's just lovely to be able to share these milestones with all of you.

No fair, Mister E. Making a mother cry even harder!

Until tomorrow, people...

Teri Hospers said...

Such a big day for all of you! Think of the wonderful adventures and new friends she will have. Enjoy every moment. These days go by much too fast. I don't know what's harder: the first day of kindergarden, or the first day of their senior year. So many beginnings and endings all at once. Love you sweetie! Come see us!!!!!