Thursday, September 06, 2007
In my big sister's footsteps
London, Ontario, September 2007 [Click to enlarge]
Taking the kids back to school this year was a bittersweet experience. Sweet because they so very much wanted to be there, because they were thrilled to see their friends after a long summer apart, because they felt at home in a schoolyard that's been welcoming kids since long before their grandparents were born. Bitter because I remember them being a lot smaller when we made this walk last September, because I still find it difficult when they walk away and I turn for home, alone, because I don't know how many more moments like this I'll have before they no longer want me to be there with them.
Our eldest son wanted to fly solo on his first day back. As much as it pains me to admit it, he's already beginning to grab hold of his life, gradually taking over the reins from me and my wife, taking those first few halting steps of real independence into a world that's less certain than the controlled one he's lived thus far.
But the two younger munchkins still wanted Daddy to tag along for their first day back. I brought the long lens and quietly observed them take their first few steps back into a world that's always been welcoming and warm to them. I listened to the banter as they happily greeted their friends and shared stories about the summer that they had, the summer that's now over. Then I watched our son follow our daughter into the school.
They're at an age where she's the natural leader and he's the natural follower. He trusts her implicitly, and she loves him limitlessly. It's a symbiosis that makes me unbelievably proud of who they're becoming, and it clouds my vision with tears as I try to compose the shot. I'm far away from them as they move into their new school year; getting further with each step. But with my long lens, the least I can do is grab the memory of the moment and hope that I can hold onto it - onto them - for just a little bit longer.
Your turn: Transitions. Please discuss.