I had a remarkable summer with my son. From multiple road trips, to a memorable vacation at Disney world, Universal Orlando and Lego Land. Amidst the summer swim sessions, hotel rendezvous, fun food trials, kickball soiree, movie nights, late night play and site words; it was his first day of school that I was anticipating.
I think I speak for many moms, when I say, this is something that we all look forward to being a part of. At least while the little ones are in grade school. Everything is a first and we document it, don’t we? Well, I do. I want a first day of Preschool, first day of Kindergarten, first day of first grade…and so on. Somewhat of a walking, mom selfie-editorial; with up to 3000 photos stored on the phone at a time. HEY, don’t judge me. LOL. My mom and sisters admire it. My sister has often mentioned that she wished she did it for her son and daughter as they were growing. I could tell you what my son wore when he was 3.522 years old.
I had not seen my son for three weeks, as my extended summer visitation with him, came to a close the first week of August. It was August 24th, when the excitement about my sons first day of first grade peaked. I was I was in Houston, Texas preparing to see him during the parent-teacher meeting originally scheduled for the following Friday. However, the meeting was canceled due to Hurricane Harvey, which produced and recorded historic flooding in Houston area. Subsequently, school was canceled and I was stuck for 13 days. Fortunately, my son was nowhere in sight. He was already miles away, in Alabama, and safe! I couldn’t be mad at all. But at first, I could not understand why I had gone through all of this, only wanting to see my son on his fist day, and would still miss it. But I knew deep down, it was not all about me. So, at that time, it became a matter of planning the best route out of the city, and while it did not come easy- it came later.
In the middle of the storm, rain and flooding, next to safety for all; all I could think about was how I would miss his first day of first grade, since school was canceled and I was scheduled to be out of town when they were tentatively set to begin. I wasn’t worrying too much about the fact that they couldn’t begin, because I knew that it was safety precautions and it was the best decisions for the school, considering the amount of damage to the city, people homes, others being displaced, road closures and impassable highways leading in, around and out of the city. We were all under siege.
When the time did come, where I was able to leave the house and the city, to get to a safe place where living conditions were conducive for survival; my son was still in Alabama. That’s where I headed. I drove down on September 5th, with prayers. The previous two days had been rough and traumatic for me and I was missing my son. All I wanted was a big fat hug and a kiss! It was with hope that I was clinging to, that he would still be in Alabama when I arrived, so that I could lay my eyes on him. I wanted to tell him how much he is loved and how grateful I was to be the mother to one amazing little Prince.
Request was granted. School was postponed for another week, and I could see my son. After everything that happened, I considered myself blessed and highly favored that I survived the storm, and that I ultimately got my one wish, which was to see his face before he started school, so that I could wish him well. It may seem like a selfish wish, seeing how some are still to this day, recovering from Harvey’s wrath, but for me it was something so much more.
It was the fact that things could have turned out so much differently, and I hate to ponder the thought of anything bad happening to him, had he been in the city. It was about cherishing moments that I do have with him and making the best of it. It meant a great deal to me to see him off to school, but it was a greater deal that I was alive and able to. It was a big deal to me that the both of us were safe from harm, and able to continue to create memories together.
It was a humbling experience. I was fortunate to have the means to leave the city and to be in a place where my son would be for a couple of more days. I spent those couple of days with him, prior to today, relishing in the joy of having my son and being happy that he was not with me during this storm. It made me appreciate all the moments that I do get to share with him. In the end, I could see that everything happens for a reason, and that if we trust the process, we will understand it better. There wasn’t one moment that I let him out of my sight. I took in every waking second, filling myself with his eyes. A denied wish to see him in August, as planned, was just a delayed blessing.
Today, my son started first grade. While I did not see him today, I saw him Saturday. I have learned to not panic over having that snap shot of the very first day of anything anymore, but to appreciate that any time I get with him, will be a good-time and is always a blessing.