Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ninth Grade

Posted today on Gay Fatherhood.

Do you remember ninth grade?

I barely do. Back then... oh, about 24 years ago for me, 9th grade was the top of Junior High. That was back before we had middle schools around here. Now ninth is officially the start of high school. No more of this Junior and Senior High stuff. As a matter of fact, the high school that I attended no longer exists, but has been combined with two other local rivals to become one big new place.

While it's just a touch sad to see the old building go to pot (although it seems there was a lot of pot back then that I missed out on), my nostalgic feelings this week are not about my by-gone high school days. Nah, I hated high school. The good memories I have are more like treasured moments with comrades in prison camp. The experience itself was not beautiful, but there was beauty in those of us who helped each other survive that hell.

No, my deep sigh today is in thinking that the baby I held in my arms 15 years ago, who stopped crying the moment he heard my voice beside him, whose solid weight I can still feel in my arms, has gone off this past Monday to his first day of high school. I only hope that for him it is a better experience, and perhaps it is. This year he set aside soccer for football, deciding that he has more of a linebacker body (where did THOSE genes come from). And I feel today the way I felt this summer when I dropped him off at football camp, watching my boy walk across that feild with those calves that could kill. It's amazing to watch my child grow up, but I cannot help but feel a sweet melancholy about the tiny tot he once was.

I'm very proud of my son, of all three of them. So Josiah is off to high school. Jonathan is "bored" already with year two of middle school, and Micah, well Micah says it was just another day like last year. He seems to be taking on that easy-going attitude that his big brothers have always had. Perhaps I've done alright at teaching the priorities in life, and hopefully that will make their days ahead a little less traumatic for them. I know, I know... they will face their own dramas and traumas. I am simply grateful for my peripheral role in helping along the natural process for these three amazing young men.

And in less than two weeks, Josiah and I will round out our year of vacations with a trip to Northern Ireland. It will be memorable beyond my imaginings, I am sure. Ninth grade? No, I don't think anything important really happened that year. No real milestones for me. I am glad that his year will be one with some great Kodak moments for Jo. Moments that won't be so easliy forgotten as my last days in Junior High.

No comments: