JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The first day

Just dropped off my kids for the first day of elementary school.

My daughter is a veteran—she’s in third grade. My son’s a rookie—kindergarten.

I always have mixed emotions this time of year. On the one hand, I’m happy. Happy to see my kids progressing and maturing. Happy to have more free time (it’s been a loooooong summer). Happy for the leaves to change and the air to become crisp and the sounds of laughter to be emerging from the school playground.

But, as much as anything, I’m sad.

My kids are growing up. They’re still kids; still little. But not as little. And no matter how many times people warn you, “Pay attention—it goes so fast,” well, you can’t possibly pay enough attention to prevent the hours and days and weeks from zipping by like little comets. Soon it’ll be next week. Then next month. Then next year. My daughter is halfway to 16; a decade removed from college. How did that happen? Wasn’t I bringing her home from the hospital, like, a month ago?

Whenever I whine to my dad about the passage of time he always snaps, “Beats the alternative.” Which is true.

So, time, don’t stop.

Just take a nap for a few minutes. OK?