After the winter we have had – all I can say is “hallelujah!”
Ironically, though, it was a hint of autumn that made me think of new life this week.
As I drove by our elementary school, I noticed the sign in front heralding that the next day was “Kindergarten Registration Day.”
We are just about a year away from “High School Orientation” – but, boy, do I remember that earlier rite of passage.
It’s been several years, but it seems like yesterday that we walked through the doors of that very school with our son to get him signed up for kindergarten.
Registering your child for – kindergarten!
Do we have all the right paperwork?
Our son has a July birthday, so he is one of the youngest in his class. Should we have him start kindergarten this year or wait a year?
When school starts in the fall, will he like his teacher? Will WE like his teacher?
That day of “Kindergarten Registration” had “this-is-a-big-milestone-in-our-son’s-life-and-ours” written ALL over it.
And, truth be told, it WAS a milestone.
We reached it.
We passed it by.
And we have kept on traveling – through all the years of elementary school and into middle school – past more milestones.
Each milestone brought its own questions and anxieties and excitement and opportunities.
We reached them together and with plenty of supportive family and friends to cheer us along the way.
Life’s like that.
Each new opportunity holds its own questions and its own excitement and anticipation.
But, like the fresh, crisp blank sheets of paper in your backpack on that first day of school, each opportunity holds out the promise of a fresh start and unknown adventures – all just around the next bend.
So, I welcome spring and its traditional signs of “new” – forsythia and red bud and baseball.
But I’m saving some good thoughts for those parents and kids turning their cars into the grade school parking lots over the next few weeks, walking hand in hand into the building and signing up for great adventures.
The world awaits.
Go get ‘em!
(I am a big fan of public radio, so I am very happy to renew my affiliation with West Virginia Public Broadcasting as an essayist. This piece was my first essay for their program Inside Appalachia. You can hear the audio version here.)