Yesterday was Alexander's first day of school. Okay, so it wasn't actual grade school -- he's only three years old. It was a preschool daycare. We're starting him out with 3 full days a week.
It was a pretty emotional evening and morning as both Francine and I bemoaned the fact that our little boy is growing up. I had to pause and take a picture of his Winnie-The-Pooh backpack and yellow jacket hanging by the front door the evening before his first big day.
I can only imagine how it might feel when he's a young man and heading off to University somewhere to seek his own path, his own destiny. Working at a University it's easy to imagine how it might be, particularly when in late August I start seeing parents arriving on campus with their seventeen year old children, scouting out the campus and checking things out.
I can't help but remember my own visit to Ottawa with my parents to register at Carleton University back in 1988. I'll never forget the view of the city at night as we came over that one giant knoll between Kanata and Nepean that first time we drove out there and I could see the glow of the city and the stretch of lights across the horizon.
That very memory was the genesis for a recurring theme that I explore in my novel Morning Son -- the theme of new beginnings and of venturing into new territory both in the physical world and in the mental landscape. (Oh, if you're reading this and thinking you'll want to check out Morning Son don't start looking for it yet -- as of the writing of this post it is still being considered by a publisher and hasn't yet been accepted for publication -- but I do have all my fingers and toes crossed. When a publisher finally agrees to publish the novel you'll find me imitating Lionel Ritchie and dancing on the ceiling and, of course, blogging endlessly about it here)
Francine and I both took Alexander to the preschool daycare yesterday morning. He was a little nervous and pretty excited about the whole thing. He did great, of course. His "report card" described his first day's disposition as "cheerful and energetic" -- no big surprise there.
On our way out I, of course, made him pose for pictures, wanting to capture the moment. It's funny, because each year on my own first day of school my Mom made me pause and pose near her flowers to capture the moment. I always found it frustrating -- I just wanted to catch up with my buddy Pete Mihajic and head off to school. I didn't want to be standing there posing for pictures -- but now that I look back on those pictures, I have to smile and thank my Mom for having the patience and foresight to take those shots. It's amazing to flip through the book of my grade school and even high school years and find a picture from each of the first days of my school years. Would make an interesting photo essay.
In any case, Alexander wasn't frustrated with my picture taking. As usually he was a ham, yelling out "cheese" and trying to do all kinds of poses for me. Lord knows when he is away in University Francine and I will likely be sitting at home, listening to Baby Einstein music and bawling our eyes out while flipping through a photo album which includes pictures like this.