August 1 – First Day!


This is it! First day of senior year! A countdown can officially begin. If I had any idea when the last day of school is, I would consider doing that. But I don’t. I suppose I could look it up, but I prefer to live in a moderate state of ignorance.

We have a tradition in our home. On holidays or big events, we measure Gigi on a door.  We’ve been doing it since we moved into this house 11 years ago. And we don’t measure just Gigi. Any family who happen to be celebrating with us, or friends from the bus or kids she walked to school with, even our dogs have marked special occasions on our door.

First day of school has always been a measuring day.  The fact that this was the last one just about did me in. I swore I was going to keep it together. I made it to the gym. I engaged in chit chat. I came home. Gigi was donning a black and white dress (evidently, it’s a tradition to where black or white or a combination of the two on the last first day of school?). We did the usual scramble for her lunch and nailing down afternoon activities.

Then Mike said, “Are you ready to get measured?” All activity ceased to a halt. Mike and I looked at each other, then looked at Gigi. Big sighs all around. I grabbed the ruler and the Sharpie, and we headed to the measuring door.

Gigi hasn’t grown in years, but she’s a good sport. We walked over to the door.  She flattened her back against it and squared her shoulders. “No tip toes,” her dad said. I leveled the ruler on top of her head and made a tick mark on the door. Because she hasn’t grown lately, there’s a lot of writing jammed around the 5’7″ area. With no where left to write the date, and in the spirit of celebration, I scrawled SENIOR YEAR in big letters by the tick mark. We laughed. Gigi gathered her lunch, her water bottle and her 500 pound backpack. She got into her painted car and drove to school.

Mike and I stood in the kitchen for a few seconds. One look in his direction and I burst into tears. He gave me a hug. We both expressed how proud we are of her and how thankful we are. Then we squared our own shoulders and took on the day.

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