Seven more of these. Mondays. That's what we have left in the school year. One of those is Memorial Day, so we could just cross that one off, but maybe we should just stick to the calendaric notion that we have seven more weeks of school. I've become almost immune to this cycle, but it was my wife pointing out to me that this is the last seven weeks of our son's junior year in high school that rang the bell in my head. Clang. Now you have my attention. A number of my colleagues at my school remember when that little round kid with the big head came tottering into those first Back To School Nights. Now he's a much larger young man with a head much more in proportion with his teenaged body. That's a lot of water under the bridge. It will be just a few short months before we start the countdown in earnest: This is the last time we'll ever...
You fill in the blank. Or perhaps I could give you some cues: Drag your sleepy body from that warm bed, pick you up at school after missing that last bus, meet with your teachers about those missing assignments, stay up late worrying about finishing that assignment that turned out not to be missing but just incomplete, discuss the difference between weighted and non-weighted grade point averages, wonder why he doesn't go to the school dances, and on and on and on. It used to feel so much like discovery. Each new year had a new teacher and a new grade to explore. Then middle school came and muddied those clear puddles. The joy of school gave way to the drudgery of class after class and the necessity of completing required essays and standardized tests.
And yet, somewhere in there, we managed to find some joy. The occasional A plus or the backstage humor of techies hard at work. We're still waiting for news about that first girlfriend. No rush, by the way, since his father didn't have a steady date until he was a senior himself, so there's still a chance he could do one better than his old man. There's still seven weeks left, after all.
And then another year. With the clock ticking. And hearts yearning.