The magic of the first day of school

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First day of school 2013

It’s the first day of school.

As always on the first day of school, Will got a big breakfast, team-cooked by his parents. Sausage, eggs, toast, melon – it’s our way of making sure the year starts right. And, as always on the first day of school, I snapped a photo to commemorate the event.

This year, Will starts high school; he’s also eligible to start driver’s training in March.

Readers got to know Will when I was at the local paper – every few columns, I’d take a break from writing about local stuff to writing about my kid.

No matter where I took him back then, a reader would recognize me, then Will, and stop to say hello or comment about how tall he was, or how old he was getting.

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First day of school 2004

Sometimes, people would compliment me on how well-behaved he was; once, someone reported to me that he had spit on the floor.

These days, people who recognize me from my newspaper time still ask about Will. When they see me with Will, who’s taller than me already, they are surprised.

Time does fly.

After all this time, no one remembers the award-winning columns I wrote about legal cases and local politics; instead, people mention how much they love the column I wrote about me and Will and our disastrous attempt at baking Christmas cookies, or the one about Will grieving the death of his grandfather.

When he was 8, I took Will with me when I judged an Iron Chef competition to benefit Gleaners Food Bank.

Will and Ron Kramer at the 2007 Iron Chef competition.

It was a tough assignment, for sure: I had to sit on a stage with other community notables and judge the food prepared by local chefs. One of the judges was football great Ron Kramer, who played at UM, and professionally with the Green Bay Packers and the Lions

At the time, Will was too young to care about reading my columns. I don’t think he even knew I wrote about him. He thought my job was talking on the phone and typing on a computer and telling people what to do.

When the event ended and we headed home, Will shared with me in a thunderstruck-yet-thoughtful sort of way that he discovered he was famous.

“Famous,” I asked.

“Yeah, you know how everyone knew who Harry Potter was, even though they had never met him,” Will said. “People know me, Momma. People talked to me, and they know me.

“I think I’m famous like Harry Potter.”

As I tried to figure out what to say, Will continued: “Maybe I’m magical,” he said.

“Maybe,” I said, letting it go at that.

As I took today’s first-day-of-school photo, it left no doubt that my kid is, indeed, magical. How else to explain how he went from kindergartner to high schooler in the blink of an eye.

About Maria Stuart 80 Articles
Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse.