This morning I sent Elliot and Avery off to school. Today is Elliot's first day of high school and it is Avery's first day of middle school. They were both very excited! While eating his breakfast, Avery could not stop talking:
This is a big day for me, Mom. I am taking a big step, probably the biggest step of my life . . .
Then after a couple of bites of his Captain Crunch cereal
(Don't judge me: it was on sale at Costco for $4 . . . $4!!)
In fact, I think this is the first big step I have taken in my life!
Really? Preschool, kindergarten . . . none of those were big?
Nope. This is it. This is The Big Step. It's the first time I will be the only Webster in a school. I am going to be all alone, and it is going to be awesome.
As he paced around the room waiting for me to tell him it was time to catch the bus, I could tell he was excited . . . nervous, but excited.
How do you use a lock, mom?
How much homework will I have?
Is Mr. Dumont strict?
Will he only talk french even on the first day?
and so and so on.
I love that Avery still needs me, or at least he still thinks he does. When shopping for school clothes he wanted me by his side and asked my opinion on everything; meanwhile, the two teenagers couldn't get far enough away from me and would immediately roll their eyes if I made a suggestion.
Elliot has been seeking Zoe's counsel more and more lately, and he has barely addressed the issue of going to high school with me, until last night. As I was bringing up a load of laundry from the basement and passed by Elliot's bed, I stopped because I heard him chuckle:
It's so strange, mom. It feels like it was only yesterday that I was starting school and now I am going to high school.
And my heart broke. All I could picture was the little boy who barely reached the window in my classroom door, while standing on his tiptoes. My classroom was right across the hall from his kindergarten classroom, and my students would holler for me when they would see the top of his head pop up out of nowhere. I would groan and then go to the door - Yes, Elliot? Mom, we need to go. We need to go home right now.
Where did that little boy go? Elliot stands eye level to me now. He is snap-chatting with girls, going to bonfires with his friends and talking back to Mr. Level-Headed and I. He knows everything! He is filled with confidence, and he walks with a swagger . . . a swagger?! When did he start to swagger? Elliot always reminded me of Peter Pan; he was going to be the boy who never grew up.
I guess I was wrong.
Trust me, Bud, going to high school may feel strange to you, but it feels even stranger to me.