When your children are little, each transition is emotional. The first tooth, the first steps, the first words get you ready to handle the first day of school.
When Allison first went to pre-school, I was ready. It gave me the time to spend with my younger daughter and it was a safe and fun place for her. She hardly blinked when she walked into the room, just went about her business of being a new kid in class. And I, with Katie on my hip, didn't have any trouble watching her go inside. However when I watched her graduate from pre-school I sobbed as they played pomp and circumstance and she walked up to get her diploma in her blue mortar board hat. The first day of big school I was similarly incapacitated as she walked inside the room, the door was shut in my face and I felt as if my arm had been cut off. By this time Katie was in pre-school (she would have rather been home), and I was childless for half a day at a time clueless about what I should be doing.
Every first day of school we would take a photo of the girls on the front steps of our house. The first pictures were of the girls in pre-school. The last one of each was senior year in high school. You can see them grow and change into giddy pre-teens into somewhat grumbly teens. Their clothes changed from ones carefully selected by their mother, to ones influenced by their own style and their friends opinions. Their carefully combed hair changed to wet hair straight out of the shower. The looks on their faces are mirrors to their moods. They morphed from excitement to finally tolerance of their parent's strange traditions.
Yesterday was Allison's first day at work at the State department. Glenn asked that she take a first day of school picture with her lunch box.... She had Chris take her picture at the front door because it was too dark to be outside. Her lunch box is replaced by a purse. Her smile is radiant and full of excitement and I looked at it feeling so excited for her and so happy for her.
Each and every step your child takes, you as a parent can't help but feel a part of. When they are walking into success you cannot help but smile. Then of course you also can't help pulling out those old pictures to remember when.