I am sitting here, dissolving into a puddle of tears as we drop James off at Zovic’s for the last time. Don’t get me wrong — I am thrilled that he will be starting at PVP tomorrow. I’ve been anticipating this day since before he was born. (Yes, I love PVP that much.) But today isn’t tomorrow. Today is the last day of this moment in time.
It’s the last day we will drive by the little digger that sits on the corner behind the Arsenal Mall.
It’s the last day we will drive by the tow trucks parked in the Watertown Towing lot, the last day we’ll drive by the rent-your-own bobcats in the lots next door.
The last day we’ll drive by the boats sitting in their “blankets” at the marina on the Charles. The house that used to be an empty lot is now built, the excavators and backhoes gone off to somewhere else.
And my little baby is now a big boy.
We’ve had good-byes before. Thanks to the logistics of the Boston Public Schools we’ve said good-bye to more teachers than you can count. But we always knew there was another kid coming along; we knew we’d see Pine Village and Winship and Edison again.
Odds are we won’t see Zovic or Endza or Takouhy again. Sure we might stop in to say hi but that’s not the same. They’ve helped me raise my babies; I’ve seen their children grow up. When Will was at Zovic’s, her son, Sebu, was a 12-year-old playing basketball in the back yard; he’s a college grad now, laughing with James as they wear their WVU t-shirts on the same day. How on earth did we get here?
How is it possible that James is 3? That Will is 10? That Lucy is 13?????
And, yes, I know I’m supposed to stop and savor these moments lest they slip by. But, honestly? Today? I can’t. As it is I’m still sitting here with the tears streaming down my face. If I stop for even a second you’ll have to peel me off the ground.
This morning James just turned to me and said, “Will Scarlett and Rhea be at my new school tomorrow? They are my favorite friends.”
“No,” I said, trying to keep a smile on my face. “But tomorrow you’ll meet a new set of favorite friends. And you’ll be so excited to see them every day.”
Logically, I know that is true. As sad as it makes me that a year from now he might not even remember Scarlett or Rhea or Zovic and Sebu, I am fully aware that is likely to be the case. I will remind myself transitions are hard no matter how good the thing is that they’re transitioning to and that part of what these amazing Pine Village teachers and directors are ready for tomorrow is a new set of parents and kids – and a whole lot of tears. They are ready for kids transitioning out of the daycares they’ve known since they were babies, for kids who have spent every day of their time on earth with their moms and dads or grandparents or nannies. And they are ready for moms (and dads) like me who aren’t quite ready for this next phase, no matter how much we know it is time.
Because it doesn’t matter if he’ll make some new favorite friends tomorrow, or, for that matter, if we’ll be driving by the Arsenal Mall and Watertown Towing and all the bobcats sitting in their lot again. This house is built. Today is about good-byes.