Wednesday, September 07, 2005

First Day Of School

Just like Nemo jumping on Marlin, yelling "First day of school!" my 5 year old daughter started school today.

We're sending her to a Catholic school, naturally. She looked so adorable in her little uniform.

Here starts the adventure, they say. The hardest part is going to be having to take vacations in summer now, or more specifically, not being able to take vacations whenever we want. Couldn't quite convince the wife to home school them, and she doesn't want my job either, so I can't do it.

But this is a great school. They've recently been unshackled from a repugnantly liberal principal, and a lot of her favorite staff & students/families went with her, so good riddance - have fun in public school where there is no moral structure to destroy anymore! We've now got a seasoned principal, straight from the Knights of Columbus, who has come out of semi-retirement to take the helm for a few years.

I plan on joining the school board too - a good friend of mine is the chairman, and he's desperate to have more board members who see the importance of real Catholicism in a Catholic school.

Still, all that's far too complicated to get into this day - my eldest child has begun school. What a milestone. I remember when she was born and I held her in my arms in that hospital room. My wife was in a deep sleep after her labour, and nobody told me that I could put the baby down, so I just held her. My arms got really sore - it must have been 4 hours.

At one point I tried to sing Happy Birthday to her, but I couldn't finish it without crying.

And now she's sauntering off to school, about to make new friends that she'll tell her secrets to, and suddenly her life won't revolve around home anymore. I won't be there to participate in all those learning and growing moments. In a way, I'm petrified that she'll grow increasingly distant from me just from the plain fact of growing up.

Everybody I know tells me to enjoy the moments I have with my kids right now, while they're young, because before I know it they'll be grown up and I'll have missed the opportunity to bond with them. That's advice I've taken to heart, and I think I've done a pretty good job so far. So I can only hope and pray that as my baby gets bigger and bigger, she'll know she can always cuddle with her daddy, no matter how sore my arms get.

I often wonder what my kids' lives will be like, and I've got some suspicions which I won't share here (don't want to jinx or encourage it!). But whatever what trouble they get themselves into, or what difficult decisions they need to make, or how scared they are, I want my kids to know they can always talk to me, and that I'll always love them.

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