Parenting is the emotional equivalent of open heart surgery.
Many days his little brother and I circle around in the school parking lot until we find a spot, then take him by the hand and walk him into school, dropping him off where his first grade classmates are waiting in the gym.
But now that he’s a big kid, an almost-seven-year-old who is comfortable venturing forward alone sometimes, he walks himself into the school building from the drop-off spot some days. I kiss him and hug him and tell him I love him from the driver’s seat, and a teacher walks him from the car to the sidewalk.
He takes off like a flash then, sprinting up the walkway to the school and around the corner to the door, out of sight. His boxy green backpack shifts as if on a short, frantic pendulum behind him as he runs. At times he stops short just before the sidewalk curves and glances back to see if we’ve driven off yet.
We take turns then, his almost-three-year-old little brother and I.
One of us says, “That’s my boy.”
The other says, like clockwork, “I miss that guy.”