Back To School

Around these parts, it’s the first day of school.

And it’s back to school for me as well. I am making a concerted push towards finally completing my program with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. It has taken me longer than I had planned but I expect to have the last of the forty courses completed by the early Spring of 2016.

But ‘back to school’ day also brings back a lot of memories. My own first days back to school were many years ago but who can forget having some new clothes and school supplies.

My most vivid memories of first days of school though are related to my children, especially my first born, my son John.

Shortly before his fifth birthday, we registered John to begin school. We celebrated his achievement of being of school age. We bought him new school clothes and a new backpack in which he could carry his daily snack to school for his half-day kindergarten class.

But, and this was a big but for me, I still thought he was too young and little to go to school on his own.

Yours Truly with my son and first daughter about a  year before my son started school

Yours Truly with my son John and eldest daughter Lisa out for a walk at the Scarborough Bluffs, about a year before my son started school

Not wanting to erode his self-confidence, at least not anymore than normal parenting might, I came up with a solution. Each morning, when I was working a later shift, I helped John get ready for school. His Mom and I made sure he had a good snack for is busy day, well, half-day. I then escorted John to the school bus pick-up spot, conveniently located on the street at the end of our property. I would wish my son well as he boarded the bus and I would watch as he made his way down the bus aisle and found a seat. I waved as the bus pulled away and John would wave back.

I then would quickly run to our car and would follow the bus to the school where I would park some distance away from the bus drop-off area so as to remain out of my son’s sight. And I would watch to make sure he got into the school yard safely. And, I would wait for the school bell to watch John line up with his classmates and enter the school under the watchful eye of their teacher.

My late wife thought I was nuts. I thought I was just being a Dad.

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