The First Day of School
Tomorrow marks the first day of of the 2011-2012 school year for my children. It feels strange to write 2012 knowing that so much of 2011 is still left yet the new school year means that the sands of time are running…faster. Ok, they really aren’t running faster than normal but with the resurgence of school days, homework, soccer practice, gymnastics and all the other stuff it will move quickly.
In a few short hours the kids will be ensconced in classrooms with new teachers and I’ll be working out of this temporary office in our temporary home hoping that my things are temporarily lost. It is only a week since we left the old place and the usual contradiction of time has taken effect. It feels to me like we left the old house years ago and at the same time it feels like we haven’t left. If I didn’t know better I’d say that we are on vacation and that any day now we’ll go back and I’ll find all the things I am missing in the places that I kept them for the last ten years.
Ten years of life in that house gone in the blink of an eye. I never expected to be there as long as we were. It was supposed to be a starter home. When we bought it I was making a very nice living and qualified for a much larger mortgage but I wanted to be safe so I opted not to buy that other place, the one that I really loved. It was bigger, brighter and offered so very much. It seemed like a house that I could move into and live in forever, but I was conservative so I didn’t want to take that sort of risk on.
Every year since my son started school I have wondered if they would talk about the events of Â 9-11 in class. Every year I have asked about it because I was curious to find out when my son would learn about what happened that day. Up to now they really haven’t had any serious classroom discussion about it. He has been too young and we are so far away it is easier to dismiss. It is different for my nieces and nephews back east. They know families who lost loved ones, not one or two but many. They know of the day and that moment in a different way.
But it had a big impact upon me for a host of reasons most of which I have blogged about before. It hit me because I was supposed to be in the city. It hit me because my oldest friend had been working at Cantor Fitzgerald (he came home just a few days before) and almost everyone he worked with in that office died. It hit me because I remember watching my son build towers with blocks and while I watched people jump he knocked the block towers down and rebuilt them. It hit me because you can’t watch that kind of thing without being impacted by it.
I’ll never forget being in the city a few months later and seeing all of the flyers and posters of missing people. Some of them had become yellowed and tattered but I looked at them hard and wondered if they were pictures of the dead or the living.
Sometimes I look up at the moon and wonder about life. I stare at that big white orb and wonder if the magical and mystical force of my youth, that we saw on Star Wars exists. I think about Yoda and Obi-wan talking to Luke about it and how we are all tied together. I think about it and wonder about the future, destiny and our control over these things. I think about it and wonder how to harness it. Sometimes I wonder if some things are meant to be and if other things are going to be no matter what we do.
There are things and there are people that are broken. Some of them are obvious and others are less obvious. Given the choice, the power and the wisdom I would heal them. But these are things that you don’t learn in school. These are lessons that are taught by life and by experience. There aren’t any books that we can read or rely upon. Some times all we can do is use our judgment and our gut to try to make the wise choice and then we hope for the best.
Choices. So much of life relies upon the choices we make. Decisions are made with good intentions but good intentions don’t always lead to good outcomes.
Ten years ago I didn’t have a clue what life would look like now. I remember trying to figure it out. I remember staring off into the mists of time with clear eyes and a full heart hoping that would mean that I couldn’t lose. But Coach Taylor never told me how quickly things could turn so when life happened it was a bit of a shock. These days life doesn’t shock or surprise me as much as it used to. That is not because I am so wise or so jaded that it can’t happen. Just haven’t caught lightning in a jar lately, but something tells me that this is about to change.
Something tells me that we are on the verge of major upheaval. So I am gearing up to ride the tornado and to tame the storm. I am kind of excited by it all. Â A new school year and new beginnings. I wonder what we shall learn.