The Next First Day
In fifteen minutes, I have to wake the girls up so they can get ready for the first day of school. They’re in 5th and 8th grade and at this point in their lives, they’ve had plenty of first days. (update: this sentence is already describing a past event. Jim drove off with the girls five minute ago). Time marches on. Today is its own kind of miracle. It’s a day we weren’t sure would happen for Ana. It’s the first day of her last year at High Meadow (her beloved school that she’s been going to since first grade). It’s the first day that both my girls are in middle school at the same time. A few months ago I was relieved that school was over so we could focus on getting Ana through the two surgeries that didn’t happen (but still might) and keep the calendar open for whatever Columbia Presbyterian needed us to do. It started off with a bang – a week at Atlantis which was Ana’s wish come true. But the rest of the summer was one long, agonizing waiting game which ended in surgery. I’m not sorry to see the summer end and I’m extremely happy for this new beginning, but my heart also feels heavier than usual on this very optimistic day. There’s still so much that we don’t know about what the year will become for Ana. And that’s why I haven’t woken the girls up yet. Once I do, the year will unravel faster than I may be able to manage it. There won’t be any turning back after that. Right now, as I type this, I can fool myself into thinking that I’m holding onto the last few minutes of our summer – where time slowed to a crawl and looking ahead seemed a bit foolish – and that I have the power to keep time from pushing forward yet again. (those last two sentences are already about moments in the past). I just blew your mind, didn’t I? Ah well. It’s another first day and that’s a good thing. Here are some photos.