Jake came up to me the other night.
"You know what's crazy, Mom?"
"What?" I asked him.
"I can still remember my first day of kindergarten. I remember walking down the hall and seeing Mrs. Overstreet and going into the cafeteria."
"I remember that, too, Jake. You were so excited!"
"Yeah. But I remember it like it was yesterday, though. And soon I'll be starting middle school." He got quiet for a second. "Time really does fly, doens't it?" he asked.
"It certainly does," I told him and watched him traipse back into his room.
I told him how I remembered that first day--how Nana and Pappy came to see him get on the bus, waiting almost an hour for a bus that never showed, taking him to school ourselves as he cried because he really wanted to ride the bus, opening the door and seeing his new teacher at the end of the hall, watching his backpack bounce back and forth as he ran down the hall toward her, seeing him disappear into his big hug, and finally watching him race off into the cafeteria with hardly a wave goodbye.
This morning, I watched my sixth grader get on the bus. I'm excited--I taught middle school for five years, and it's the age I love--their enthusiasm, their honesty, and even their issues as they push for independence. Much like toddlers, I told Jake (and used to tell my students), but taller, more vocal, and potty trained. I told him that he's going to have a great three years ahead of him, and that I'm excited to see what he does and what he learns
And I know people say it all the time, but I honestly cannot believe he is starting middle school today. Because it really does seem like yesterday that I watched my kindergartener run down the hall toward the start of his elementary years.