This morning, as I packed B's first lunch of 5th grade, I was thinking about how three years (and some change) ago we were at the PS 11 block party in Manhattan. The entire neighborhood of Chelsea came together. There were two DJs and the biggest potluck I've ever seen. We brought broccoli cheese and rice casserole made in our teeny kitchen with ingredients bought at the Chelsea Whole Foods at the end of our block. B did kick-pushes off the wall of the school with other boys and got briefly (and terrifyingly) lost on the playground for a minute in all the chaos. We partied all night. Teachers danced the cha cha slide and we were utterly overwhelmed by the spectacle of it all. It feels like just yesterday that life was starting over again and everything felt fresh, free and exhilarating in the big city of dreams. But it wasn't yesterday at all. It was three years ago and he was going into 2nd grade. We were different people, really, and we had a long road ahead of us.
Time continues to fly and I grasp at it. I don't even take photos very often anymore because I want to live every moment. I find myself literally breathing it in, trying to absorb everything and asking for just another second of it before I have to close my eyes for the night, or open them for the next morning. As much as I want to hold on to the waking moments, in my dreams I still live in New York, or a constantly changing version of it that is a little different every night. All of my favorite people are there and everything is new and exhilarating. I'm sad to wake up until I look around and remember what I have here. Like this morning.
This morning I did get out my camera for the first day of school ritual. We're starting over at a new school again, but it was a low key affair back in suburbs where everything is comfortable and practical. He took a long shower and his hair was still wet when we left for school but, other than that, things were quiet, just like he likes them. I can't help but hope that there are more exciting days ahead for us, but this is so good right now. His teacher is incredibly nice, and his school has a little garden. He's happy that his art teacher is passionate about her job ("like I'll be about music in 20 years," he says) and I have high hopes for his final chapter of elementary school.
Original post from the PS 11 block party here.