Haircuts happened last week, ditto the acquisition of new lunchboxes and ice packs for them.
We've attended the Open Houses, and we've come to understand how a child can have both 3rd and 4th periods at Career Center and at his home high school.
This is the year we won't have "three day weekends" but rather "college tour weekends". We'll spend as much time looking forward this year as we do focusing on the present.
These next two years are for polishing up our boy, the basic outlines of whom were long ago set. He needs to learn how to do some basic cooking, for example. How to fold a bottom sheet. How to plan a dream trip and then save and budget for it.
Something feels different, more expectant, about this First Day. I feel like we are hurtling toward his future now, and some doors are slowly closing and some opening wider based on the changes in trajectory he chooses.
Two years seems like nothing, like we're running out of time to finish this giant project we began sixteen years ago, but I know that powerful change can happen in two years and that the world won't end if he never learns to fold that sheet.
In the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, there is a teacher named Page Dancy whom he was blessed to have for English for two years. He basked and flourished in her classroom, felt cared for and nourished, and so produced incredible poetry.
A piece entitled "I Am" remains a favorite of mine to this day. The assignment was to describe his origins in various ways, such as in terms of his house, his neighborhood, and his city. The second to last stanza was to be in terms of his family.
I am from Spain and Mexico and Scotland and England
And several other places along the way.
I am from blue-eyed teachers and green-eyed naval officers
And beautiful brown-eyed women speaking Spanish.
I am from a celebration of cultures
And I get all the holidays.
I am from a family of fiercest love.
He is. And we are blessed to have him and will continue to shepherd him into the future he boldly embraces.
I am from the future of wonderful.