Tomorrow is Eleanor’s last day of school, and I am sad. Most moms I know tear up at the beginning of the school year, sending a child off to kindergarten or middle school or beyond. I am more than happy to send my children back to school at the end of summer, particularly at the end of a Texas summer when we have exhausted every swimming pool, museum, and movie. Endings get to me though. This is when I feel the passage of time most acutely.
A few days ago, Eleanor asked me why we call a forehead a forehead. “Well, fore means front,” I said. “And your forehead is the front of your head.”
She nodded. “So just like foreskin,” she said. I froze. Did my child just say foreskin?
The past few months have given me two big insights as a parent. First, no matter how well I think I know my kids, they are capable of surprising me. Sounds obvious, right? After eight years with Eleanor, though, I had reached the point that I could predict her every reaction, her every like and dislike.