The Last First Day

empty nest
Still recovering from jet lag and getting myself back into my regular routine. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling particularly emotional. Today we had our last first day of school.

 
For 20 years I’ve taken pictures, sometimes through frustrated tears, of my boys going off to meet their new year of challenges.
 
Our school year was to start last Wednesday. I was rather sad. Not only would my son be at his dad’s that week, I would be traveling and would miss it. There would be no picture in front of the front door, the only place this man-cub had ever had his first day of school pic taken. But the universe works in mysterious ways.
 
Our teachers, underpaid and long overdue for increases, voted to strike. The first day of school was cancelled. And then the second. And then the third. By the fourth day in, I was home from my trip and my boy was home from his dad’s.
 
And so this man-child and I shopped for last minute items for the school year. This morning there were no frustrated tears. He indulged my picture taking and even gave me an unsolicited hug afterward and said, “Good job.” If you knew this kid, you’d realize what a huge deal that is.
 
My nest is not completely empty today. He will be back in a matter of hours. Ravenous. Likely squawking about his day. Feathers rumpled here and there but still intact. My baby bird.
 
Thank you, Universe. For knowing what this mama bird needed.
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