Last night was orientation for my rising high schooler; thinking it is strange – writing it is weirder. Approaching the school, my daughter bounced along beside me and the welcome wagon was out front – the entire marching band lining the entryway and the color guard twirling the school’s flags. The air was frigid since we were expecting snow and I thought she would think my eyes stung from the cold. Once in the auditorium parents chatted waiting for the presentation to begin – until we were immediately silenced by the incomparable presence of the high school marching band. They entered in full uniform, carrying majestic instruments – huge drums, shiny tubas, marching in unison, that it became inextricable to decipher whether the repetitive boom was generated by the overpowering vibrations of the countless musicians in an enclosed space or the pulse of the lump in my throat that
this is really happening.
Earlier in the evening I called my sister for a reality check – “I’m going to high school tonight for orientation. Wasn’t it just last night I was teaching her to pee on the toilet?” It sure seems like it. I can’t believe where the time has gone and hope that she makes the right choices. Kids from past years’ classes flashed across the screen sharing advice they wish they had known as incoming freshman – the same things I tell her now. Each time on of them made a point I turned to make eye contact with my daughter sitting behind us with her friends. I wish I could preserve these simple moments like capturing her little hands dying shirts with tea bags at home on a Sunday afternoon. These next four short years – less than the time she spent before her school years started – will set her on the path to her future. Such a hard thing to have to sit and patiently watch a daughter grow up and become what you dream for her to be.