empty desks

What do you want for breakfast? I asked him last night, You can have anything you want, it's the first day of school!

Waffles, he said.

And so we had waffles with blueberries and maple syrup. And as fast as I could wash his face (or wait, did I wash his face?) he was gone. Out the door, down the street, and into his school, greeted warmly by his teacher. It was as if summer had never come between us.

I wanted to take him school supply shopping last week. I wanted him to help me pick out the glue sticks and the kleenex, the pencils and the crayons. But I never could find a time that worked. And besides, I wondered if he would care or if he'd spend the time begging me for a new Thomas train and crying when I said no. (because of course, one must pass the toy aisle to get to the school supplies).

So I snuck off by myself. Wandering slowly between the wide-ruled paper and the rubber erasers. Running my fingers over the pencil pouches and wondering when he would need a compass or a protractor. Remembering my own new binders and PeeChee folders. The fresh smells of a new classroom and an empty desk, waiting to be filled, and to hold me for a year.

Some might argue that I should have taken him. And perhaps they're right. Perhaps I should have. But last week, somewhere between the rulers and the markers, I was reminded that September is a new start for me too. And that I have my own empty desk, waiting to see what the year will bring.

What will you do at your desk this year?