Time, That Cruel Mistress

Today was my son’s last day of elementary school.

They have a tradition at his school, wherein the departing fifth graders run through the halls on their last day and all the kids and teachers wave good-bye.

Where has the time gone?

I remember chasing him around when he was learning to walk, pawing the ground and snorting like a bull.

I remember taking him to ride Thomas the Train, and his chest-puffing pride at meeting Sir Topham Hatt, back when every hill was Gordon’s Hill.

I remember buying his first set of action figures and engaging in vast battles in his bedroom.

I remember his first day of school. How big the fifth graders were in comparison. It seemed inconceivable that he would ever be that big.

He barely remembers Thomas now. The trains are boxed up in the garage, one step from leaving our lives forever.

The action figures collect dust in his closet, unceremoniously heaped in bins.

He’s taller than my mother, and making up ground on my wife every day.

He sleeps with a pair of stuffed Spider-Men. Do they know their days are numbered?

I dropped him and his sister off at school last week. Together, for the last time. I didn’t realize it would be the last time, then. It shouldn’t be significant but somehow it is.

Where have all the years gone.

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