It came home this morning: a precious package in a Hefty bag. The contents of my son’s school cubby huddled inside: the back-up clothes, the collection of work he earnestly produced each day between our walks with him through the playground gate. Amidst his writing I found his slippers. When I last saw them in September they were bright and upright, tissue-wrapped in a crisp box. Today they’re comfortable and worn, open to the exact diameter of his ankles. My son may have walked a hundred miles in his classroom, slowly enough to keep water in a glass, and carefully enough to step around a child reading on a rug. So he was taught, and so he learned.
There is no place to be at this moment but in the garden, in the shade, startled by the flap of catbird wings and calmed by the bob of coral bells. The house holds the bag. But out here the world can absorb the goodbye to my children’s preschool, and the close of their youngest years. Over the hedge, the city bus returns all day at thirty-five minutes past the hour. At my feet, a hosta prepares to bloom. A woman down the street scolds the children in her care. Even she is a comfort today. Her calls of “No!” raise my head. I see the blue sky, full of possibility. It expands up and out, like my children’s six peaceful years of Yes.