Sunday, July 3, 2011

the backpack

There's a backpack in my basement. I dont like it. It was on a tremendous after-season sale. It's nice looking: black with gray and red trim, a few pickets to hide things in, and those neat-looking but pointless bungee cords on the front. (Seriously, I've never seen anyone use that feature. Ever.) If I were a kid I would love it. I'm pretty sure that my kid will love it. Therein lies the problem. It's for him to pack his books, crayons, and the like and go to school. I know that Nathan will enjoy both the backpack and going to school. And I'm having a hard time dealing with it.

My friend talked me into buying the backpack on Black Friday because it was only two dollars. She bought the other three for her two children because, apparently, children are pretty tough on backpacks and they break in the middle of the year forcing desperate parents to pay full price for a new one. Not having prior experience in this area, I took her word for it. This will be my first year to send a child to school. Forget him being ready, I don't think that I am.

Thousands of parents across the country are counting the days until school starts again and I act as though I'm sending him to a concentration camp. My sentiments are being very unreasonable, I know that. And it's fun to see them grow and learn new things. But I'm sad that this innocent phase in his life is soon to be over. Soon he'll have homework and after-school activities. His time will be scheduled more by his school day than by family activities. I love coming home for lunch and seeing my boys. I dread not having him there.

Starting school is the end of a wonderful phase of his life but also the beginning of another wonderful one. Truthfully, I wouldn't want him to stay home forever. This is the beginning of his really really growing up, and there's actually a part (small!) that's excited to see what will happen next.

There's a backpack in the basement. I'm dealing with it.

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