Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

The First Day of School

The birds were twittering as we stepped out of our front door into a day that felt much more like the end of October than the beginning of September. The still dew wet grass shone like brilliant crystals as the sunlight streamed through the tiny droplets of water. I couldn't believe that school was starting already and Labor Day hasn't even come and gone yet. It just seems so strange.

Our breaths puffed out of our mouths as we talked about the events of the coming day. We passed the tarp covered tomato plants as we walked down our sidewalk towards the driveway. The plants seemed like giants next to my daughter as she walked down the sidewalk next to me.

The crunch of the gravel under our feet as we walked down the driveway was like a favorite song of mine. We had many good talks as we sauntered to the bus stop together. I couldn't help but wish my son had allowed me these stolen moments with him too. He asked me to stop accompanying him to the bus stop when he was in second grade.

The constant chatter continued until we reached the end of the road and stood on the corner. We took the ceremonial first day of school pictures. I made sure to move the camera all around as I took a few more shots than usual. I need at least one of them to turn out. I am annoyed that I can't even look through a tiny window to see if my subject is centered in the frame.

We heard the bus coming before we saw it. We hadn't really even been looking for it. We had been talking about the new school year and the coming day. She wondered out loud where her new line would be when they line up on the playground. She asked me who was in her class so she knew who to look for in the line. I reminded her of two of the names we read on the list last night at the open house. Her eyes shone as she thought about being in class with two of her good friends again. We exchanged a quick kiss and hug before the bus pulled into view.

As I saw the familiar yellow bus number 224 rumbling down the road towards our stop, I couldn't help but feel the anticipation and excitement of the start of a new school year radiating from my daughter. Larry has been Peanut's bus driver since she was in kindergarten so he knew the sight of us well. He smiled as he pulled up and drew the bus to a stop. It seemed somewhat strange to have the bus company's name on the side changed.

But even the rumbling down the road had seemed like it was just a matter of routine, so it might even be the same bus with a new paint job. It was almost as if summer never happened.

Larry waved my little peanut across the street. Her energy seemed boundless as she practically leaped over the road to the welcoming door of school bus. Her ponytails waved in the chilly morning air. Gentle puffs of white vapor rolled out of her mouth as she breathed.

The next thing I knew the bus was pulling away from the bus stop. I waved goodbye to my youngest child. How fast they grow up. She's already in third grade? It seems like just yesterday I was sending her off for her first day of kindergarten. I suppose that means it's time I replace her backpack. Has she really had it that long?

As I look ahead to the start or the new school year, I can't help but wonder where summer went. Did we even ever have a summer?

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