Twelve years ago, his mother and I did what millions of parents were doing that morning. It was a big day, a huge day. It was the first day of kindergarten.
Chad was scrubbed down and ready to go. Our neighbors' little girl was also starting kindergarten. We went outside and took pictures of the two of them on a warm August morning. Hannah and Chad stood at attention with goofy grins.
We drove him to school, met the teacher again, and waved bye. There were no tears, unless they were from his momma. First day of school. A rite of passage.
Let's go from 1998 to 2010. Chad got up at 7:10 a.m., on his own, no less. He asked his mother if she had an extra paper folder. She did. He asked his dad if he had $2 to round out enough money for lunch. He did.
His mom had already headed to school. He showered and poured himself some Cheerios. He watched "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" on TBS and then went to warm up his pick-up.
"See ya," he said as I came in from feeding the dog.
"See ya. Have a good --"
But he had already closed the door.
No pictures. No Spider Man backpack. No dropping him off to his class.
No doubt about it, the first day of being a senior is not quite the same.