Monday, August 23, 2010

first day of school & i, a broken cantaloupe

this is the day that my world changed
our world changed,
still to be decided
for better or worse
i put them on the bus

i put them on the bus
& their mom is at work
crying at a desk because
she can't be here
on her baby's first day

i watch them drive away
holding my breath
then sit in the driveway
to write this poem
to keep from crying myself

plunking the cantaloupe
which screams not ready yet
so i plunk it harder and it cracks
all these words spilling out
and i can breath again.

my youngest now faces
the world on his own
without even a sling shot
(you will be locked away
if you bring those to school)

but he will be okay
he completed the first several grades
through his brother
as we helped in art &
story time & field trips

he will have fun &
at 3 o'clock ride the bus again
to a near strangers house
while i work, getting home
about the time he goes to bed &

i'll kiss his head &
say a prayer that friday
comes soon.

this is the day that our world changed
for better or worse
i put them on the bus...

112 comments:

Betsy said...

Awww..those mixed emotions! Hope all four of you have a great day! The boys will be full of stories, I'm sure. :)

Wed is our first day.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Brian, you are going to make me cry on a Monday. Oh, the memories...of the first day of school *sniff*

Eva Gallant said...

The changes have just begun!

Bonnie said...

Oh Brian ... it is tough. I cried for the rest of the day each time I put a child on the bus for the first day at school. Never again to be totally in our protective embrace ... But everyone survives and most children thrive on the new experience of independenc and outside stimulation.

I could just picture you there sitting in the driveway. Deep breaths.

adeeyoyo said...

I remember... and how proud they looked in their new school uniforms! Them, eager to go... me, choking back the tears!

Daniel said...

My little one is in the 7th grade and I still tear up as she drives away. I still strongly remember her first day at school. She was so happy and excited (and scared too), I was crying like a baby and trying my best to hide it from her so she wouldn't get upset. Seems like yesterday though. I feel for you guys.

Austin said...

I hear you Brian, and I didn't know yesterday was your birthday when I saw you, my bad!

I am completely torn about this sort of day when that time comes, faster than I would desire I know.

Prayers for T, let her know.

Mighty M said...

Some firsts can always be so tough - I hope they have a terrific day! :)

TALON said...

All the ages and stages of life...heartbreaking and pride-inducing for parents as they watch their children taking all new paths on their own. That used to choke me up - that they would have all these separate experiences I would only hear of second hand. Loved the poem, Brian.

CM said...

Oh, I'm so sorry...I know it's gotta be hard. You made me sad just thinking about your wife at work.

Just remember, they are probably having fun at school and it will just make the weekends that much more special. Plus, at least you get to see them off in the morning.

Hang in there...good thing you have writing to turn to.

JStar said...

Oh I remember these feelings all too well...I sent my girls off to school this morning...and spent all last night doing thier hair so they can look nice on thier first day back...

Monkey Man said...

Boy Howdy! That was a tough one. Most love school and the new friends they meet. Hope your youngest has a great day and you do too.

The Urban Cowboy said...

The first day of school is a tough one. For me, the hardest was when my son was grown, and moved out. That was a very emotional time.

pink dogwood said...

yes its tough to see them get on that bus without you. Your post made me think of this quote :

Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.
Elizabeth Stone

BLOGitse said...

I remember...experienced twice...a zillion years ago! :)

deb said...

oh,
I feel you there, here ,
in this.

you send them full of your love and that is more than many have or will ever know,

Steven Anthony said...

You painted a picture of a parents love, so strong, so beautiful....Be ready, he will be full of stories...

hugs
Steven Anthony
Man Dish~Metro Style

Mama Zen said...

I'll cry for you, Brian.

Susan Deborah said...

Aww. Now this is so heart-wrenching. By the time you know, it will be over and your son will start relishing the time spent in school. First times are mostly like this but then it lasts for a short time alone.

Come on Brian, SMILE and get to work :)

Joy always,
Susan

sage said...

a wonderful poem that captures those emotions... I remember that when my daughter first started kindergarten, she didn't want me to hug her when I picked her up, but that only lasted a few days.... Then she was in a school two blocks from my office, and I'd walk up to greet her and walk her back and until she went to middle school, she'd always run and jump in my arms and I'd swing her around and it became our "trademark". She still likes to do that, but I no longer pick her up from school.

Liza said...

a ton of imagery Brian..a whole scene in my head
"my youngest now faces
the world on his own
without even a sling shot"

He will be okay, his foundation rock solid.
Tissue button please.

Boonie S said...

This is very moving. Thanks.

All the best, Boonie

liza said...

oohhh B, they'll be okay. but will you & T? My trio will all be in school in two weeks. the lump in my throat is getting bigger and bigger. Can't wait to hear how their first day went. {hugs}

lakeviewer said...

You brought it all back, those first days when we sent them off, our hearts pounding. They managed; we managed. Life goes on.

ModernMom said...

Awwww always such a tough day. I t does get easier:)

Wings said...

Emotions run wild those days, don't they? I hate when summer ends, cause I lose my little friends.

Just Be Real said...

Brian this was very sweet. Blessings.

ladyfi said...

Oh, such bittersweet emotions. And I'm so sorry your wife has to work and miss her baby's first day. What terrible schedules you two have... But you WILL get through this and so will the kids.

Cheryl said...

Oh the places they'll go...knowing one of you will always be there for them to come back to time and again.

Raven said...

I remember my baby's first day of school. Only, after I cried I did jumping jacks at the thought of having the house to myself all day. lol But then, my eldest moved out and I cried thinking, soon my youngest will move out and it will be so quiet all by myself.

Jannie Funster said...

I bawled all the way home the first day I dropped my girl at pre-school.

This is truly beautiful, Brian!

xo

California Girl said...

Yes, Bets is right..."those mixed emotions" of pride, loss, fear and hope. They never leave us.

Vicki Lane said...

Rites of passage for everyone . . . may it all go well!

Magpie said...

It just doesn't get any easier either. I still tear up and my youngest is a sophomore in high school! But somehow when they're so young and seem so frail, it's terribly hard to let go. But that's why we give them roots and wings...they have to leave the nest.

Jessie said...

i had a similar experience over the weekend. hopefully more on that later.

growing up is hard on the kids, but is torture for the parents that love and adore them.

warm smiles,

Fragrant Liar said...

Oh, man! Bittersweet, I know.

Sophia said...

Oh Brian. It blessed my heart more than you could ever imagine to read about how much a parent loves their child. My life lacked that in so many ways as a child. What a great father you are and mother/wife you have. You said it all in this poem. You opened up and shared with us another part of you..beautiful and touching. Hugs!

Deidra said...

So glad you didn't send him with a slingshot!

Tina said...

Beautiful. Loved the cantaloupe analogy bit. It's hard sending them off...I cried on their first days. And took pictures. Sweet memories. Thanks for sharing such an emotional piece.

DJan said...

I will never forget the day my son rode the bus to kindergarten the first time. I was a wreck! I cried all day, and he was just embarrassed and wanted me to disappear, I think. Fortunately for him I didn't get to ride the bus...

n. davis rosback said...

oh, yes.

Brian Miller said...

my long time readers probably remember that i usually dance for the bus when it leaves...creating all kinda of chaos as kids push to the window to see what i do next...today it was a little half hearted...i will do better tomorrow...

natalee said...

oh your poor wife... i feel the same way i can never be there on the first day eithe because of the whole teacher job thingy.. this year i too will be missing my Tommys first day of Kindergarten.. how sad that time goes so fast.... I am jealous though that you and my hubby get to have that memory.. I hope they have a great first day!!!!!!!!!! Tell Your wife She has my hugs!!!!

Neva Flores said...

It is so hard to be a parent sometimes. They grow up so fast don't they? You wonder where your babies went......

gaelikaa said...

Oh, I've been there. Four times....

SuziCate said...

Oh, Brian. I remember that day myslef, but to hear it from a dad's point of view chokes me up. This was beautifully and tenderly written.

Nithin R S said...

Great poem. Yeah first day in school is always an emotional day for any kid. The mothers find it very tough worrying about their kids. Well after a few days, they both will be feeling great. The days in school is what make the kids prepared to face the world later. The basic social mannerisms, networking etc are learnt there.

Claudia said...

oh brian - i so feel for you and your wife (i was in Sydney on business when my daughter turned 18 and i felt like i had betrayed what i love…)
i'm sure it turns out well!

Paul C said...

There are good seeds in that cantaloupe.

Baino said...

I didn't mind sending mine to school. They loved it and couldn't get into it fast enough. Now putting one on a lane for a year away travelling, that reduced me to a blubbering mess I can tell you. Tell T not to feel guilty. I missed a lot of my kids school things due to being a single working mum. They turned out just fine. Incredible in fact.

Ed Pilolla said...

i can hear that cantaloupe respond.
with you in this moment because you have that ability.

Sam Liu said...

A soft and beautiful poem, to which I'm sure many parents can relate. Your words, your emotions and your candidness are moving and admirable, Brian.

Tabor said...

Such a milestone. Those of us who have children go through it. It will help you be a better parent. But it is hard giving up most of that control.

Miss Nikki said...

change and growth: can't stop it from happening! sweet words.

Bernie said...

Oh Brian, it is so hard as parents to let our children go and my heart ached for your dear wife....every mom wants to be a part of such an important occasion. All will be well and he will go on many more buses throughout his life knowing his mom and dad will always be there for him....:-)Hugs

Becky said...

Oh Brian, I know the feeling.I remember it well...especially with my second .I did cry bigtime lol.But wow when you see their faces light up when they return you will feel blessed they enjoyed it.

Happy Tuesday ahead!

only a movie said...

He'll be fine, as you know... I'm sure he has tons of stories about his first day. :-)

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Awwww! The first day always seems to be the hardest on us parents! Not to mention that time is passing by way too quickly - where's that 'pause' button when you need it?

Nessa said...

Aw, man, you're doing it again. Now I'm bawling my eyes out remembering when I used to send mine off to school.

william said...

a proud momt for mum and dad, bet he does really well :)
great poem mate :)

Kat_RN said...

Brian, One of my favorites so far. So much emotion and so many memories. I need to go find a tissue myself. Congratulations on surviving the first phase.
Kat

gayle said...

It's bitter sweet sending little ones to school!! Hope they have a good day!! I met our first graders tomorrow!

Cinner said...

Brian, you made me tear up here, I pray that Friday comes really fast so you can all be together again. thinking of you and your wife. smiles

sweetmango said...

sigh, i feel for you both. I have to give up two, my last two into the school system next February. I will go from two bubbly 'babies' running around my house and my life to absolute silence. Im not sure at all how I will cope.
So yes, like you I have already let one go, but I feel for you both today.
xxm

Me said...

Oh boy. I remember my oldest boy's 1st day of JK. The teacher had to literally pluck him off of me after the bell rang, his arms outstretched calling "One more hug and kiss! One more hug and kiss" as I hurriedly walked away. I managed to hold in the tears until I turned my back, but then they came fast and furious. He was the happiest kid you ever would want to meet by 3pm, and couldn't wait to go back. Me? Sunglasses are still mandatory attire on the 1st day of school...and he's heading into grade 5 this year. Sigh.

Oh boy, the ways our little ones can pull on our heartstrings. It rarely hurts them half as much as it hurts us, does it?

Good luck finding your way around in this new world...it's not so bad, once you get the hang of it.
-C

e said...

Beautifully expressed...I hope Friday comes quickly for you!

Jaime said...

aww. how'd he do with his first day?

kkrige said...

ohhh, I so don't want to go there. :(
Regretfully, I am faced with the exact same thing in a few short weeks. I am fighting with myself about whether I want my younger to start or not. I am also snivelling over the bus experience. ohohoh boohoo for you dear man. good to take it out on cantaloupe though

Prayer Girl said...

You touched my heart in such a big way. I felt what you were experiencing. It hurt.

PG

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Very thoughtful, Brian. those days can be VERY long for everyone. -J

Pat said...

Bittersweet. That first day is so hard, especially when it's your last one going to school! A new beginning for all of you. Hope everything works out - I'm sure it will!

Vodka Mom said...

I am NOT going to cry. no. no. no

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for sharing. Those little ones sure grow up fast. We have a fourth grader and two not yet in school--but their time is soon enough.

Teri said...

We'll be experiencing this on Wednesday! Can hardly believe that it came this fast. But, I am the Grandma not the Mom and Dad. I would probably be like your wife: at my desk crying! Why can't the world just slow down for awhile?

Bossy Betty said...

Oh! I remember these emotions so well!

Tracy said...

xxxo, Brian. To you and T both.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I bet he did better than you! Hard to let go.......so hard!

Heartspell said...

My heart is right there with you and the cantaloupe.....I sent 3 off today and another goes off to college classes here tomorrow. :) Heartspell

Lori said...

I hope the first day went well for all of you. I know how this feels and will be feeling it again in 2 weeks. Not sure if I'm ready or not. :) And you are right, everything changes. :)

Dorraine said...

Yes, I feel your pain, Brian. You expressed it from the heart. I still remember when our girls were little and we had to send them off to school on that first day. It's heart breaking.

This summer we've had to really let them go. One to Missouri. The other to California. You might have heard me wail that day for sure. That's why I haven't been around much recently. I've squeezed every ounce of time with them that I could. We prepare them to leave one day, but our hearts are never quite the same when it happens.

Hang in there!

Mmm said...

Well i do hope it went well, Brian, and am sure it did. We couldn't;t do it--home schooled for several years and don;t regret a day of the extra time. All are in school now, well launched, as it were.

signed...bkm said...

I remember those days - pictures of the first day of school - probably about the same time you were first going to school...they grow up so very fast....bkm

Selina Kingston said...

Ah yes - first day at school !! I cried both times. And then I cried when they started big school. And now, all these years later, I've woken up ready to cry again as I wait with my youngest who is really anxious about getting his GCSE exam results later today. This will be you in a decade or so ....

cindy said...

Very touching Brian.

Valerie said...

I'm reliving the lump in the throat experience. You're boys will be fine... trust me!

Fireblossom said...

Aw. Nothing I can add. *sigh*

CatLadyLarew said...

I remember the day my son went to Kindergarten... my best friend and I said good-bye to our boys and then went to a local diner and sobbed for about an hour. It's the end of an era!

TechnoBabe said...

Why does it say "near stranger"? Is it a neighbor you barely know but who lives nearby? Is it someone from school you have met and is willing to have the kids take the bus to their house after school? I know this was a very hard day for you and for your wife. Hopefully it is a day of joy and new experiences for your boys that help them adjust to the school year.

Candie Bracci said...

I must not be easy I know.I soon will have to put my son to school for the first time.It's a question of a week,so I know..it must be hard for your wife not being able to be there.I wish you all strength and love.It will be fine.

drybottomgirl said...

Rites of passage and tears. A hug for your wife from me. I know as a working mother whose husband took the kids to their first day of preschool and kindergarten....sigh. But my husband and I have worked opposite schedules since our oldest was two. You focus on what you can do and that is be there for the sharing at the end of the day. They were full of stories I'm sure, and you both seem like great parents. You make the foundation strong and they will carry it with them wherever they go.....

annell said...

Do you remember your first day of school? Be brave, they are.

Luisa Doraz said...

You are having tooo much fun. lol :grin: Stay happy and well.

Brian Miller said...

they did well first day...sorry i dropped a twitter and facebook update but could not get back here...my technical issues should be cleared up by wednesday and i can get around a bit easier...

cole said he loves kindergarten and enjoyed the bis ride...and the after school care went well...logan did not want to leave he was having so much fun....

Jen Chandler said...

Wow. So many emotions involved in sending the little ones to school. My 5 y.o. niece started school this year. While it's not my child, I still took the news with mixed emotions. She's still supposed to be a little baby, you know?

Thanks for the comments over at my place. I'm excited to get things rolling again!

Happy week,
Jen

J. said...

They're born and then we spend their whole life trying not to lose them...

Stay strong dad - it's the love they'll remember, and from the sounds of it, they'll have much to remember:)

Had a great deal of emotion in this piece, loved it.

The Retired One said...

This put such a lump in my throat, Brian..I felt the same way..and now am repeating the feelings as I watch my grandkids....
Once they are in your life, you never stop worrying about them (your children) OR your grandchildren...it is part of love's side effects.

Otter Thomas said...

It's tough. I hope Friday gets here quickly for you too.

Christina said...

You always know how to stir up my emotions Brian.

joesuzz said...

I remember having to wait for the bus. I still have mixed emotions about school.
Good piece.
_joe

Goofball said...

oh man, good you didn't make the poem any longer or you'd make me cry.

Don't be so sad, it's changes for better I'm sure! I hope you took some pictures of them glimming in pride with their schoolbag!

Birdie said...

ohh, I was almost crying myself Brian ... we still don't have to face that but I know the day will come and I'll be happy for my boy to go to school but I know I'll cry an ocean that day ...
I hope the first time for your little one was ok and that he was full of stories and that he did like and so that you and T could dry the tears and have a happy smile :-)

The Empress said...

Thank you, as if I wasn't feeling labile enough already.

I can't stand it somedays, I can hardly stand it....

Those blissful early years, we think we'll have them forever.

AmyLK said...

I have always been lucky that I can put Son in the bus myself. And that he can go home to his grandfather at the end of the day. The first day of school is the hardest on the parents.

Heather said...

This brought me to tears...how beautiful. I'm sending my baby to kindergarten on the bus in a week from tomorrow...kleenex, please?

C.M. Jackson said...

such is life--they grow up way too fast---wonderful poem-c

Janice said...

Beautiful...the memories came flooding back.

she said...

uugh! I put my youngest on the bus to Kindergarten last week. I can relate to the feelings you wrote here.

Syd said...

I have not realized until recent years that my going to school may have affected my parents. They never let on if it did. Bittersweet.

Zuzana said...

This brings back a plethora of memories; almost every single new school year I was starting in a new class as a child, as my family moved a lot. I know all the feelings in this story and remember vividly my very first school day...
Hope the one for your boys was lovely!
xoxo

cjs said...

just found you through kulio.

this was really good.

Marla said...

Yep. I still cry when they get on "buses" to leave. Even though they have hairy chests now...I cry.

fancypants said...

I still cry every year, one year older and it makes me sad they are growing so fast!
This was sweet, thanks for sharing as always.