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Bitter & Sweet

My son had his pre-school "graduation" this past Thursday. Normally I look on these things with a bit of disdain--do we really need to ritualize every progression we make in life? Honestly--if everybody is a winner then are there any winners at all? OK, so I attend the ceremony and enjoy it. What took me by surprise was the tiny corrugated shard of sadness I felt, knowing he would never be this age again. Knowing I would never drop him off at his school (my old building) nor pick him up there again.
When he was an infant I couldn't wait for him to mature--let's face it, on many levels babies are boring. They don't much of anything--sure, sure, they possess an ontological sweetness, but really...they eat, sleep, cry, and void waste. Slugs can be more fascinating at times. I derive much pleasure from his age right now (most days) and look forward to when we can discuss ideas--metaphysical and cultural--but I enjoy the journey too. He will never pass this way again and I'm glad he's moving on, but still. . .
Now, my students moving on. . . that's almost always sweet, never bitter, and sometimes a bit of a relief. Teach us to number our days, O LORD.


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