imagesWith the start of the school year, I have extremely mixed emotions – with every passing year they get more intense. Where did summer go? Who was the genius school administrator who first said, let’s start school in August instead of after Labor Day? How many more days until winter break?

And this year, the biggest question is “when did my baby girl get old enough for high school?” Now it’s not my youngest heading to high school, but my first born. But really, weren’t we just sobbing in the parking lot when we dropped her off for her first day of daycare? Or holding her hand tightly when she marched onto the bus for kindergarten? And I am sure that it was just yesterday that she graduated elementary and headed to middle school?

I remember when I was young that people told me that time flies and to not take anything for granted. But how did time fly this fast? I am and have always been a sentimental dad, wanting to enjoy every moment of my kids’ lives. I hate hate hate when life gets in the way and we lose sight of just how fast these years go by…each day goes by.

But as my dear daughter heads to high school today, I find myself feeling so many things – from deep pride in watching the young woman she is becoming to abject fear that she’ll be starting her own life all too soon and leaving me in the dust to let go and watch her succeed. But most of all I just want her to have an amazing experience filled with fun and joy. With our baby heading to fourth grade tomorrow I realize that in a short two years she is on her way to middle school and the same fast track that has taken over her sister’s life.

My wish for my children in this new school year is what it is always is. Be happy. Work hard, yes and realize personal growth, sure. But be happy is and always will be number one on my list. Oh – and let me remain a part of your world.