By Stacy Johnson
Today is the last first day of school for my third eldest child. I call him Drewby (Drew + Baby = Drewby). I remember sending him off to kindergarten, so excited to learn, make new friends and adjust to a world outside of our home. He didn't do preschool that I can remember but he had good friends he played with regularly.
He has always been an active kid. He has played basketball and football since before he started kindergarten actually. He stopped playing football his sophomore year and hasn't regretted it, he coaches with his dad instead and he loves that. Last year his basketball team made it to the playoffs and lost in a very close game. This year I think will be their year to make it to the finals and maybe even win.
Drew is my quiet child, very introspective, always thinking. He is very careful to choose good friends even if very few of them are LDS. He is a home-body sometimes too and loves to talk sports with his dad.
I've been sending kids off to their first day of school for 17 years now and kindergarten doesn't phase me. I get a little teary as I think of the exciting things that are about to happen for my kids but my tears are those of joy, relief and anticipation.
On the other hand, when I send my seniors off on their last first day, I am very emotional. I will be a wreck today as I think of how much I will miss him when he steps out into the world around us; jobs, mission, college, marriage and more. My heart already aches for him and his hugs, his texts telling me he loves me and his honesty although sometimes brutal.
So don't mind me, I'm taking my babies to the park where we will kill some time before afternoon kindergarten starts. My daughter will think I'm a mess and she will think it is all because she is leaving but you and I will know that that's only part of the reason I'm crying today...that and I have one more kindergartener next year so I will cry about every other year for another 18 years...oy.