Like many Westporters, Tommy Greenwald and Cathy Utz long marked today — the 1st day of school — as a milestone on the annual calendar.
For 15 years, the couple watched their 3 boys — Charlie, Joe and Jack — move through the local schools. Each year they grew older, bigger, more independent. But the 1st day of school was always special.
This year is special too. Tommy and Cathy — themselves products of the Westport system — no longer have a child heading off to school here.
To celebrate/mourn, Tommy — author of the very popular “Charlie Joe Jackson” book series for young readers — wrote this poem. Enjoy/contemplate this “06880” exclusive.
It’s here! It’s finally here!
The first day of school!
The first day of the year!
There’s so much to do.
Try not to make a fuss.
And we can’t miss the school bus!
Something is different this year.
Where are the children?
They’re not here!
There are no children to wake.
And no lunches to make.
They’re all grown!
Off to college, or other adventures all their own.
So now what?
What do you do?
Do you sit around and mope?
Give up hope?
Possibly even bawl?
Well, maybe for a day or two.
You’re only human, after all.
But after that, enough.
Time to get tough.
Time to see what this can truly mean.
Peace. Quiet. Freedom. A house that’s truly clean!
A love to renew.
That long-delayed dream you can finally pursue.
That promise to yourself you can finally keep.
Or maybe just a good night’s sleep.
Just try to remember, whatever you choose.
This is honestly, truly good news.
Indeed, it’s time for the children to go.
Because guess what? Now it’s your turn to grow.