Back to school. The most wonderful time of the year? Yes and no.

Summertime was a free-for-all. Our house was the hang out house. There was always a pile of bikes on the front lawn, wet towels strewn around the pool, and popsicle sticks that never made it to the trash can. How hard is it to toss a stick into a can? Or drape a wet towel over a chair?

So when bus and homeroom assignments were sent home at the end of August, I was just as excited and anxious as the kids. Maybe for different reasons, but excited nonetheless. No more worrying about where they rode their bikes, if they were ding-dong-ditching the neighbors, or if they were running through the house with wet bathing trunks.

I had to drag my son to the store to buy school supplies, all the while trying to hype it up.

“Look how cool these folders are!”
“How about a different color binder for every subject?”
“Oh, and maybe some hand sanitizer for your backpack!”

But after the bus drove away to take him to school, and I walked into the house alone from the bus stop, I felt sadness creep into my soul. I missed him already. It was too quiet. I missed hearing him call my name.

“Mom, can I go to Kevin’s?”
“Mom, can we go swimming?”
“Mom, what’s for lunch?”

Mom, Mom, Mom…

And later when he left for college I made sure he had a trunk full of essentials; towels, toiletries, laundry detergent and lots of snacks. Oh, and hand sanitizer. But as I dropped him off at his university, my sadness turned into something else altogether. My baby had grown up, and I realized I would never hear my named called like that again. I had watched my little boy grow into a young man, and it had all happened in the blink of an eye.

Back to school season is a time of change and sadness, but in reality, it’s the best kind of sadness because it means a new beginning. While I was always devastated to say goodbye to my baby in some small way every August since he was five, I knew that he was embarking on a new journey every year that he was excited for. And in the end, even though it hurts us, sometimes we, as parents, have to say goodbye a little bit each year to our children as they grow up into the people they are meant to become.

Today when I looked out the window on the first day of school, it looked like a block party. Moms with tears in their eyes, Dads giving reassuring hugs, and kids with new outfits, sporting new backpacks. You could feel the nervous energy in the air. You could smell the excitement. You could taste the uncertainty.

Back to school. The most wonderful time of the year? Yes and no.


Felicia Jackson is a photographer, artist, and writer, best known for her popular lifestyle photographs and portraits which she has created for clients all across the world.

Comments are closed.

Pin It