Our school begins today. Writing this the night before, I feel confident predicting that we will be rushed, packing lunches, eating breakfast (or carrying it to the car), feeding the dog and bird, gathering school supplies, pausing for a quick photo, and dashing out the door.
And since we’ve been to this rodeo before, I feel confident predicting that’s the way Mod Squad Julie’s senior year will go, too: dashing from Back-to-School night to Spirit Week, submitting early applications, basketball practices and games, submitting regular applications, midterms, receiving college decisions, making her own decision, AP exam weeks, and graduation. Just like that.
This is when I stop dashing for a moment to look backwards…
Back to a full year during preschool when Julie proudly added an “h” to her [real] name, because she liked the letter so much.
Back to watching Julie and her fast-speaking, ever-smiling girlfriends ice skate in French immersion elementary school.
Back to an infamous middle school science project, when she ran out of things to say about Mme. Curie, so she transformed it into an art project spelling out radium in a variety of languages.
Back to her first days in a high school of 1100 students after an eighth grade class of fifteen, when she wondered how M.S. Pete (a junior then) knew so many people.
Back to now, when she’s excited about senior year and looking ahead to next year when, as Michael Gerson puts it, her life will be “starting for real.”
We’ve watched Julie mature from a quiet freshman to a strong, confident young woman. She scheduled her senior year so it serves as both a capstone to high school and a half step toward college. She’ll have a heavy course load, yet more free time than ever, excellent training for a college schedule next year.
For now, though, as we head into this first day, I wish her a great, safe, fun senior year. I hope we can all appreciate every moment of it.