The walk to school is approximately 500 yards, if that. Only one residential street to cross. No big deal.
Then why did I feel that I had to stand on the front porch and watch him until he turned the corner? Deep down I knew that yet another milestone was passing. The cord was being cut—again.
I watched as he tossed his backpack over his shoulder—just like his older friend had done. I noticed the sudden change in posture, as he puffed out his chest just ever so slightly, like a proud peacock showing off to its female audience. As he walked away, he said, "Bye, mom!" in that dismissive tone that really means, "I'm fine, mom. Now go away."
I waited a few more minutes. Then, just before he turned the corner, he looked back. He had to hunch down a bit in order to see under a neighbor's tree, but then he saw me—still standing there. "Oh, no. He's going to think I'm hovering. Which, of course, I am." But no. Instead, a big smile lit up his face and he waved, as if he still needed the assurance that mom was there watching over him.
Life is good.