My walk last night seemed very quiet.
The streets had a hushed sound and it was easy to feel that I was the only one in the town.
Then I remembered. First day of school.
As an ardent walker about town, I've come to appreciate the subtleties of change. Early morning Saturday is a quiet, quiet time as well. During a snowstorm, it's quite eerie. And the first day of summer vacation for the school is predictably noisy.
So without a child in the school system, I've come to notice that uncharacteristic silence that only comes when children are home early, preparing for the day/school year to come, in whatever fashion that looks like. I did observe one young boy out on his bicycle, but oddly, he was just going around and around in circles. Maybe he was stalling for time when he had to finally admit that his daily romp with his bike was ending. Or maybe he was so mindlessly bored that circling was all he could come up with. Whatever the reason, he was alone in his contemplation.
I remember the dread of a new year. I disliked having to train a new teacher all over again. I resented having to rearrange my very relaxed schedule to one of waking up before the light of day. The regimen of the school district never did coincide with my busy-ness and love of motion.
Sadly, I lived vicariously through my children with respect to the First Day Dreads. Outwardly, I was the penultimate cheerleader, complete with first day photos, special breakfasts, clothes and shoes. But it was all a sham. I hated it and I hated seeing them go. I would cry after they left for no other reason than I knew I would miss them so.
All these years later, just thinking of all the children headed back to their pre dawn bus stops and scheduled learning, I get the jibblies.
Some of us never grow up......