The Boys of Summer are Gone

Morning has become an exercise in exercising. We are early to rise and quick with our routine. Time ebbs and flows. We are relaxing. We are rushed. We are walking. We are walking.

Sometimes it’s just me and Atticus making the journey. Some mornings Zane joins us, and sometimes the four of us walk together. When it is the whole family the trip home becomes longer and more scenic and sweats are broken. My wife finds it therapeutic. I find that I can sweat a lot by 8 in the morning.

Drop-off is at a gate. There are no guards in funny hats, soldiers with rifles or saints with checklists, those would be easy. This gate is armed with whistles and orange vests and glares that hold scorn. Ye shall not pass.

Every morning Atticus walks through that gate and he runs and jumps and rides and does what he can with the minutes allotted him before the whistle blows. Always he smiles and always he finds my face among the crowd of parents that can’t let go, a crowd that grows smaller every day, and he waves. I stand there outside the gate, my hand at the ready. I am a gunslinger, quick on the draw, and my wave is in the air before his fingers have even committed to action. He always smiles and it makes me feel almost better.

This morning I stood along the fence with Zane at my side and we watched as Atticus ran and jumped and rode and made the most of that window between walking briskly and sitting quietly. We watched and we waited. We saw him smile. We waved. He didn’t see us. He never looked back in need of comfort. He never looked back to offer it.

He looked forward as he entered the classroom, the gate within the gate, and he didn’t look back. I took Zane by the hand and we walked home, smiling, and I felt myself sweat.

I’m whining extra today! I’m guest-posting at Phil’s!

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