I forgot to take a picture from outside the window of the Young Fives classroom, as I patiently waited in the hallway, while you sat at the tiny table and silent tears fell down your cheeks.
I forgot to take a picture when you simply could not remember how the color was called BLUE, because you swore it was called GREEN, or YELLOW, or some other name.
I forgot to take a picture when you asked me to drive you to Meijers to buy building supplies, when you wanted to design a birthday present for your dad made mostly out of toilet paper rolls.
I forgot to take a picture when you watched your dad skydive for the first time, and looked at me with those “Im gonna do that some day” eyes.
I forgot to take a picture the first day of 4th grade, when after another long summer, you entered the classroom without a tear in your eye for the first time!
I forgot to take a picture when I first realized you were a clone of your father, only 20 years younger.
I forgot to take a picture the day you asked me to help put wax in your hair, so you could have the best “mohawk” in the school.
I forgot to take a picture when your teacher told me, “he’s got wit like an adult trapped in a child’s body”, as you were clearly the only student in the room who “got the joke” when the adults thought it would go right over your head.
I forgot to take a picture the day you ran out of the house wearing a collared shirt, simply because a girl asked you to wear it.
I forgot to take a picture the day you took apart the broken xbox, took a hair dryer to it, and fixed it.
I forgot to take a picture the night you asked to go to Meijers with me, and although I was in a hurry, we randomly walked the toy section for an hour, looking for the perfect gift for your favorite teacher, Mrs. DeBoer – so she would have something sitting on her desk forever, that reminds her of you.
I forgot to take a picture the day I walked into your room to wake you up at 5:15 am to prepare you for your 8th grade trip to Mackinaw, and you were sitting on your bed completely dressed with your back-pack on. In my astonishment you simply said, “I can set my own alarm” – as if I hadn’t just spent 10 years of my life waking you up every morning.
I forgot to take a picture that same morning as you were joining your friends at the big charter bus, smiling from ear to ear, ready for your 2-day adventure.
But, I didn’t forget to hug you as you walked away…..because typically I would just pat you on the back and say “have fun, bud”……but, this morning – I remembered.