It was a late summer day, early in the morning. There was a heaviness to heart and mind that matched that of my feet as I moved forward, holding tenderly onto the hand of my youngest child. It was the first day of kindergarten for him and though the feelings were reminiscent of those I'd had with his older siblings, they were just a bid more intense this time. He was, after all, my baby, and I had come to recognize that once they headed off to school, my life would definitely change.
Whether my emotions weighed on him, or if it was just the reluctance that comes with heading into the unfamiliar, he too didn't seem exactly eager to leave the house. Unlike his sister, an independent soul, who had the year prior headed out the door and onto the playground full of chatter and animation. No, my boy was quiet that morning, his expression mildly wary, his steps slower.
Then, as we approached the door where other kindergarten students were waiting, he saw his friends and dropped my hand. A smile lit his face and he charged ahead with all of the chatter and animation that had been missing.
I, on the other hand, knew I was going to miss what had been. Feeling my eyes well, I gamely forced a smile and turned away to head back home. Not before grabbing a hug, however. He might have been growing up, but he was never going to be too big for that as far as I was concerned.
From that day forward, of course, those hugs came before he walked, or should I say ran, out the door. Any trepidation had dissipated from the moment he entered that playground full of excited happy children and saw his friends among them. These terrific back-to-school animations reflect that spirited environment.