Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | June 20, 2014

8 years

I walked my son to school for the last time today. I’ve been walking my kids to school and back almost every day for eight years. Eight years of good and bad weather. Eight years of “hurry up you’re going to be late.” Eight years of “what’s going on/what happened in school today?” countered by “what’s for dinner?” and “what do we have going on this afternoon?” Eight years of seeing my kids’ classmates and catching up with other parents at drop-off and pick-up. Eight years of chatting with the teachers and five years of chatting with crossing guards (our California school didn’t have one at our intersections). Eight years of cursing at the many drivers who don’t stop for us at cross walks – in both states – and listening to Fresh Air and other podcasts on my iPod on my solo legs. Eight years of two round-trips, two miles a day total – at least 2,500 miles of walking for me, and 1,250 miles for my kids.

First day of school in New Jersey - 2009

First day of school in New Jersey – 2009 – 3rd and 1st grades

Last day of school 2014 - ending 7th and 5th grade

Last day of school 2014 – ending 7th and 5th grade – they didn’t want to touch each other – look new mailbox!

First day of school 2009

First day of school 2009

 

Last day of elementary school ever - 2014

Last day of elementary school ever – 2014

Zack made it easy for me this morning. He fought with me most of the way to school. I attached the teacher’s gift card to Zack’s hand-made 3-D card the wrong way, ruining it (or so he said). He was in a foul mood, and then so was I. Finally he fixed the card as we walked, and then half a block from school he said goodbye. He doesn’t like me walking him all the way to school anymore. It’s embarrassing.

Parents lining the walkway prepared for the outgoing 5th graders to leave elementary school for the last time

Parents lining the walkway prepared for the outgoing 5th graders to leave elementary school for the last time

This afternoon we had the Clap Off, where the 5th graders walk from their wing through the halls of the school, lined with the younger kids clapping as they proceed through. Many are wearing the necklace with the wooden apple name tag they received in kindergarten (we have a city-wide kindergarten). Then they emerge from the 1st grade door where all the parents are crying (and clapping). The kids are happy, pumping their first and giving high fives. Some are crying themselves – including the boys.

IMG_4149

In my big sunglasses so no one can see my tears!

In my big sunglasses so no one can see my tears!

 

Elementary school is officially over.   I took Zack for a celebratory lunch today (Dori went to an end-of-year party at a friend’s house).

He chose sushi

He chose sushi

I offered to walk Zack to middle school next year. It was fun to watch his expression. He was horrified. I’ll have to figure out what to do with my extra 35 minutes in the morning next year, and the extra 35 minutes in the afternoon.


Responses

  1. that was very touching!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Aww. Growing up is so hard on the parents! I have one going off to college next year!

  3. Where is your son going next year Stacie? I didn’t realize he was a senior this year!

  4. Wow! End of an era…we don’t have little kids anymore 🙂

  5. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I love the first day of school photos then and now.

  6. Great photos and a heart-tugging tale. Have you considered turning it into a column? Sam and I also had a big blowup on the walk on the last day of school — I think we were both a bit off kilter. I’ll really miss our daily walks but hope maybe he’ll let me bike with him in the fall …

  7. Loved this blog. I can’t believe how big they are, it’s something to compare those pictures.

  8. […] was the first school day in 8 years (not including preschool) that I didn’t walk my kids to school (or in the case of preschool, […]


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