Looking sharp in "business casual", he tucked his lunch into his backpack and headed out the door with Tom this morning before dawn. It's Daniel's first day at his post-college-graduation, adult-world job. He and Tom are carpooling right now until Daniel gets his own place in town.
I stood there watching him as he grabbed a banana and a couple of oranges from bowls on the kitchen island. He sported a new shirt, slacks and shoes... so reminiscent of other "first days" when he wore his favorite set of new school clothes and a clutched a superhero-decorated lunchbox free of crumbs and grime. I almost grabbed my camera to capture the image of him standing by the front door, backpack slung over his shoulder, like I always did in those days that don't seem that long ago...
...But I held back. I'm not sure why. There seemed to be a line I would be crossing, a line that appears once your baby birds have tested their wings and learned they're capable of flying on their own. It's a wavery line, though, hard to see at times and I'm sure I step over it occasionally, purely out of old habit. But I'm getting better at spotting it and staying on my side.
I think I am, anyway.
Daniel plans to look for his own place soon. That makes me happy and sad, all at the same time. Happy because it's the way it should be. Sad because I enjoy having him around, of course.
Happy and sad... a mother's braid of feelings she wears most of her life when it comes to her children.
I don't take it personally that he's eager to move out. Lord knows, living with me and Tom would drive anyone nuts, but I think it has more to do with this:
He's 23... his wings are more than capable of flying where ever he wishes to go...
Life, according to an Arabic proverb, is composed of two parts: that which is past - a dream; and that which is to come - a wish. ~ G.A. Sala
(I didn't have one from today, so I'm posting this one... his first day of kindergarten. It took awhile, but all that education has finally paid off. I bet I still have that lunchbox somewhere...)
Anyway, I hope this is the best first day ever, Daniel!