“Whoa…there is nowhere to park.”
“Dad…we are going to be late…”
“Ok Ok, here…here.”
I parked the car and we ran to the front of the school. I grabbed my little one’s hand and tried to cross the busy street.
“Daddy…we need the crosswalk…this is illegal.”
“Bug, it’s ok to cross without the crosswalk lines sometimes…you have to look both ways…make sure you are holding me or mommy’s hand…and then go when we go. Besides, didn’t you say Mommy always drives faster when she sees a yellow light? It’s kinda like that.”
It was the last day of school. The signs were everywhere. My little one was not happy about this day. The summer would be long…and she would miss her friends dearly. The guy in his mid-thirties next to her was the complete opposite. He was smiling from ear to ear because his future had days where he could sleep-in…days binge watching Netflix…days where he could play video games all day in his pajamas…days where he didn’t have to shave off his pathetic excuse of a moustache and goatee. But that changed as soon as he heard the music.
I walked into the school yard and heard “The Graduation song” blaring through the speakers of the school. The fifth graders were getting ready to walk down the center aisle to celebrate their promotion to middle school. I imagined my little one walking down that center aisle. I looked at her and started at the soon-to-be 7 year old and my eyes started to water.
“Daddy…you have ahh-werr-gees?”
“Yes, baby..allergies. That’s why my eyes are so watery.”
“You always have tissues everywhere…Mommy says she knows where you have been because you always leave tissues everywhere. And she says when she does laundry, your tissues go on all the clothes.”
“I know baby.”
I walked in the classroom and saw a teacher with tears in her eyes. She was retiring. She teached for over 30 years, and this class would be the last class she would ever teach.
“Looks like she has allergies too, baby.”
“You all need to take medicine.”
The classroom was packed with parents. Each parent talked about what their plans for the summer were and how fast the year went. Their responses fell on deaf ears. When you hear graduation music, you can’t help but remember what it was like when you graduated. The excitement you felt…the unknown world you would soon run into. You can’t help but get emotional when you hear that music.
I looked around at all the other parents in the classroom. And they probably were thinking the same thing as I was.
“This is happening way too fast. Slow down a bit kid, for your parent’s sake.”
I looked at my own kid…she was losing teeth like every week. She demands to wear dresses every day. She is starting to wear lip gloss. And is starting to get infatuated with the way diamonds sparkle. Each child in that classroom was excited about the world beyond this summer….and every single parent seemed to have problems with “allergies.”
Slow down a bit, kid.