My (oh so very hairy and grown up) baby boy will be walking out the door this morning a senior.....the big man on campus. I will have him pause so that I may snap this moment in time on his sister's Kodak Sure Shot. He will grumble and complain about how "stupid" it all is. And how he doesn't have time and blah, blah, blah.
I could pull out my “long, sick pregnancy” or my “8 hours of labor”, I could use the “5 months of selfless breastfeeding”, or possibly the “remember the time you split open your chin at the playground and I had to chase you down the street in order for the doctor to stitch you up”, I may even toss in the real big trump “do you even realize just how much money I hand to you on a daily basis?” card to convince him he somehow owes me his cooperation…but I won’t.
I know he’s going to have a lot of senior fun this year. He’s already pulling rank, during practice, on the poor underclass players on his football team. Making them carry all the equipment and wait at the end of the line to eat team dinner.
“That’s what they get for being underclassmen” he says rolling his eyes when I tell him that he is as rotten as they come.
Thank God this boy of mine doesn’t mind school, not at all like his older brother. His brother would walk out the door on the first day full of hope and enthusiasm, two days later he would be asking if he could take a sick day. It was a rough twelve years.
In ways like school this son is more like his sister, college bound and academically focused on certain goals. He has high aspirations and dreams. So far things in school have come easily for him. According to his sister he is in for a rude awakening when he transitions to college.
I can’t and won’t dwell on that, college is a year away and while I type this he is still in high school.
No, today I will live in the moment… with my thoughts I won’t fast forward, and I won’t reminisce about the other eleven first days of school. The ones that came and went so quickly, more quickly than I ever could have imagined.
Oh how I loved to walk him to class the first day, every year until he was in high school (okay, I am exaggerating a bit here)…but I did love it when he needed me so.
He is excited about today, and this year. And I am too…even if I am a bit sad that I won't have any more first days.
Man oh man….it is tough seeing the last one grow up.
“Heyyyyyyyy, wait, I want to get a picture of you” I will holler in answer to his “see ya ma” as I hear the screen door slam.
Begrudgingly, he will oblige “Do this quick, okay ma, I don’t want all the neighbors seeing me standing on the porch ham-ing it up like some kind of freak”
“God how I hate that you do this to me every year” he will rant on, a forced hurried semi smile on his face. “Come on hurry up”.
“How do I turn this camera on?” I’ll ask for the ninety seventh time.
“I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS” he’ll bellow....."HIT THE BUTTON, THE ONE THAT SAYS ON/OFF!!!"
“Shut up, quit yelling, the neighbors will hear you” I caution.
“Ok, now hold still” I say, I’m really ready this time to capture his handsome face on film.
“Oh, wait a minute; is this the button I push to take the picture?” (Oh how I hate being technically challenged, and rushed especially moments like these when the pressure is mounting)
“MOM..….. Come on. I gotta goooOOOOOO” he pleads.
“Just stand there you idiot and let me take your damn picture” I yell back.
“You know I suffered eight whole hours of back breaking labor to bring you into the world. (see, I just knew he would push me to it) You can stand on this freakin azz front porch and smile and pretend that you are a nice kid who is kind and respectful to his mother” I say, through clenched teeth.
I finally find the right button and hope that I have him situated smack dab in the middle of the little box while I try to focus (my eyes aren't the best and the square is quite small) and I “click” and the image of my tall handsome baby walking out the door for the first day of his very last year…is now a documented moment in family history.
He’ll storm off the porch, then feel bad that he yelled at me and he’ll run back to give me a peck on the cheek.
“Love you mom” he’ll say as he leans in to kiss me.
I watch him run back to his car and wave as he passes by.
What can I say? I am a work in progress....