I can barely believe what I am typing, and today is Aidan’s last day of high school.
I drove him there, just as I did to Wolf Swamp Elementary School 11 years ago for his first day of first grade.
Then, as now, he wore shorts.
Then, as now, he ate yogurt for breakfast.
There, as now, we chatted about how he was feeling.
The similarities end there, though.
Whereas he was then a fresh-faced young boy eager and a little scared for his first day at a new school, now he’s a young man with the muscular calves and facial hair to prove it who’s ready to make his own way in the world.
He complied with my request to take a picture of him after making it clear that he didn’t understand why I “always want to do that.”
“Maybe some day you will, or maybe some day you won’t,” I answered before expressing my gratitude for his somewhat grudging permission.
We didn’t talk much on the way over to school, and the air between us was relaxed, easy. The tunes of the Stones’ Sweet Virginia wafted through the car as Aidan did his customary fiddling with his IPod.
We arrived at front of the school. Aidan pulled his blue bag that contained his yearbook out and prepared to leave.
“I love you, bud,” I said as he started to close the door.
“I love you, too,” he replied.
A lifetime and an instant ago, after driving Aidan to his first day of first grade, I walked with him as he entered his elementary school.
Today, I watched as he strode, one ear with a headset in, one ear free, toward the crosswalk and the building he would enter for the final time as a high school student.
I drove away, called Dunreith, who was on her way to the airport with her mother, and headed for home.