Yesterday morning I had a doctor appointment so I left the house a little earlier than usual. I had just returned from a nine day business trip. My head was working out appointments and routines and what I need to get done at work, weighing that against what will actually get done before the day is through.
I don't have children. I haven't talked to my sister (the elementary school teacher) in over a week. My calendar says it's still summer.
As I pulled out of the garage I waved to the neighbors who were on their front lawn taking pictures of each child with shiny, new backpacks. As I drove down the street I found myself in the midst of a parade of parents and little people with lunchboxes and younger siblings in strollers as they made their way to the neighborhood elementary school. As I waited at the crosswalk I watched excitement and hesitancy all wrapped up in new, little shoes as some ran and some shuffled and each were hugged or high-fived by the school mascot in a big, furry costume with a sign around his neck that said, "Welcome Back!"
I made it about a half a block before I burst into tears.
All my mommy friends spent the day on Facebook sharing those pictures with the shiny, new backpacks and status updates about how hard the first day of school is for them or how brave they were because they didn't cry or how happy they are that their house is now quiet for a few hours each day.
All I could think all day was, "I may never know what it's like to walk my child to the first day of school." And, then there more tears. Lots of tears. All day long. And now, today, just writing this, there are more tears.
Someone. Quick! Help me plan a trip to somewhere exotic. Or, maybe not plan it. I'll just go. All that spontaneity and sunbathing will make me feel better about being single and childless.
OK. Probably not.