It doesn't seem like it's been that long since Matt was getting ready for his first day of Kindergarten. It's been about 22 years, though. Today marked a bittersweet milestone for Matt as he put HIS little boy on the bus for the first time. How is that even possible?

Evan with dad and mom, Matt and Carrie

I always tell people that the passage of time is gauged by how old our kids and grandkids are getting. They become a kind of meter for our lives. As they get older and have children, we realize that our station in life is changing. We are now the wise generation. That should scare anyone who knows me.

So anyway, Evan was excited to get on the bus and go off to school. He was a big boy with his big boy backpack. When we were kids.....oh, nevermind....it'll just make me sound old.

I'll end this with a piece that Matt wrote last night in light of his son starting school.

They mature you, they age you, they baffle you, they teach you and they love you; They are our children.

Never does one truly understand the lightning-fast speed of time until they have a child. We spend the majority of our adolescence wishing, hoping, almost WILLING time forward. We can't wait for those monumental milestones to hurry up and arrive. Starting highschool, getting our driver's license, FINISHING high school, turning 18, turning 21. We do it all in the name of excitement, always keeping our eye on what we think is life's next big prize, never stopping to think that perhaps we may well be forgetting about the smaller, more important things in our lives. No, it's not until one has a child of their own do they TRULY learn what the "little things" in life are, and how to really understand and appreciate them.

I became a father a mere 64 months ago, at an age when I thought I was invincible, an age when I thought life never ends, and that the most important thing in the world was... well, me. I was brought to tears with the arrival of my little boy, and now sitting here writing this little novel, I begin to realize that it's going to be habitual. Evan will always bring me to tears. Being born, saying dada, taking his first steps, peeing on the potty... you name it. It's things like these that really make you stop and realize just how precious the brief and fleeting moments really are. Because once they arrive, they're gone again, no longer tangible but only to be revisited by memory, which, too, will fade with time.

Now that Evan can say dada, walk, talk and use the potty, it's time for his latest, and thus far greatest, milestone. Tomorrow the big yellow school bus will come chugging up over the hill here in Windsor, and we will all watch with heavy, yet happy hearts, as Evan joyfully and fearlessly, in true Evan fashion, boards the ride that will take him to the rest of his life.

I suppose, in retrospect, I can utilize all the things that Evan has taught me in the last 5 or so years to help me get through this emotional event tomorrow. First and foremost being that its okay to cry- because I'm going to. And two, that I am not the most important person in my world. He is and always will be.

Tomorrow morning at 7:40a Evan Brady James will take a huge step in his childhood in becoming a student, and I will take a huge step in my parenthood in becoming his support system. His friend when he teased, his resource when he can't remember a math problem and his father when he needs social and soulful guidance.

Evan, thank you for all you have brought to my life, and everyone's life around you. I love you unconditionally, unequivocally and forever and always. Happy first day of Kindergarten my precious little man...

Matt and Evan