When I was in young, the first day of school was always exciting. Sitting at the kitchen table, dressed in my new school clothes, having my breakfast, I remember thinking that the summer went by too quickly.
Endless games of baseball and soccer filled my carefree days of summer, as well as countless miles ridden through the neighborhood on my Western Flyer bicycle. Could the summer really be over already?
As I sat eating my breakfast hoping that the Coco Puffs would kill the butterflies in my stomach. My mother would be at the counter making coffee for my father and packing his lunch. When my father had left for work she would turn to me and say, “What would you like for lunch today, peanut butter and jelly or bologna and mustard?” I never remember my mother asking me what I wanted for lunch any day other than the first day of school. My mother always made the best sandwiches.
I have often thought that if I could spend just a few more minutes with my mother, if I could ask her anything, I would ask her to make me a bologna and mustard sandwich. She would make my sandwich and pack my chips, cookies and juice in my new metal lunch box with my favorite TV hero displayed in brilliant colors on its sides. When lunch time came I would always find a short note tucked in my lunch box that said “I love you son, be good, Mom.”
When I heard my son coming down stairs for school this morning, I asked him the way my mother asked me so many years ago “What will it be for lunch today peanut butter and jelly or bologna and mustard.”
He looked at me a little strangely and said, “I am in high school, nobody brown bags it in high school!”
I thought about that for a moment and then asked, “What about some breakfast?”
“Just some coffee” my son said.
When did he get to be so grown up?
I poured us each a cup of coffee, and we talked briefly while he waited for the bus to come. It struck me how fast time passes. It seems like only yesterday that I was little boy sitting in my mother’s kitchen on the first day of school, and now I am sitting in my kitchen with my son who is almost grown.
When the time to leave arrived he grabbed his back pack and his gym bag and headed for the door. Another first day of school had come and gone. How I wish that I could freeze time and just enjoy these moments for a little bit longer.
I called to him before he walked out the door and said, “I love you son, be good.”