Three years ago today, I forgot to do a “first day of school” picture of Chickadee before taking her in to meet her new teacher. She bounced off to her first day of preschool with hardly a backwards glance. Monkey had to be peeled off my leg amidst snuffling and whining, and embarked upon his first day of daycare.
I returned home, heady with the possibilities of this day: my first day without children or an office job. My first day to start my new career, to really try to make a go of writing.
The phone was ringing when I walked back into the empty house. My husband told me to turn on the TV. And so I spent my first day of “freedom” glued to the set. Later, I washed my face and debated whether I really wanted such an incongruous hallmark of the day… and decided that yes, tragedy notwithstanding, it needed to be done. I arrived to pick up Chickadee and made her hold a “My first day of school! September 11, 2001” sign while I feigned cheerfulness and snapped her picture.