Last week The Boy and I did our first-ever school shopping trip. He patiently chose pants, shirts, sneakers, and pajamas while waiting, waiting to go to the backpack section. There, he found a black backpack with Hot Wheels cars on the big front pocket. The straps were edged in green. He was sold.

Every day since then, he’s loaded up his backpack with precious things and worn it to and from his bedroom. One day he got dressed, put on his new hat, new watch, and new backpack, and told me he was practicing going to school. I thought I might melt right into the floor boards.

Kids walk to school around here, so I’ll be joining the parent escorts in a few weeks. I hope I don’t cry. Scratch that, I know I will; I might as well accept it now. I am blown away by how quickly five years can go by.