First day of school is an exciting time for most kids and parents. For my kids, they get to see all their old friends again, their favourite teachers and get into a new routine. For us as parents, we felt it as a milestone of starting a new grade, excited for the new things they will learn and the independence with it. Of course I had my mom moments when I was ready for school to start, but I never felt an excitement and celebratory feeling of “getting them out of my hair.” My boys were pretty good and fun to be around. When I had crazy brain from their energy, I had work as my temporary escape. I was always sad the summer was over.
What happens when the first day of school comes along? The traditional first day of school photos, of course. We always took one but never of the boys separately. I wish we took more of them together and much more alone on these milestone days. Social media sites are littered with photos of kids on their first day of school. Why wouldn’t it be? There are so many proud parents wanting to show their kids off. We were those parents once too. Now, these photos hurt my heart so deeply knowing I can’t post my own photos of my boys. Instead Valin stands in the same spot he use to stand with his little brother Madox.
Now we take a photo of Valin standing by himself, then watch him cycle away to school alone. He no longer has his little brother as his shadow, which we know he misses. I get in my car, and drive to visit my baby boy where he now lays without us. I sit next to his plot and sob, thinking about everything we are missing without him. Missing everything he brought to our lives. Madox should be starting grade 8 this year. He and his buddies would be the oldest kids in the school. Instead, he never made it to grade 4.
Not everyones first day of school photo is happy and elicits a smile when seen. Sometimes these photos hurts to see and brings a tear to your eyes. Sometimes the first day of school photos are at a cemetery. Sometimes, all you can do is cry.