Everyone else’s back to school photos have smiley kids looking at the camera, perfect outfits and fresh hair cuts.

I was a photographer for a living, don’t worry we have these photos too, but that’s not the one I keep coming back to.

Instead I keep coming back to this image.


The quiet of it.

What it says about who my kid is in the world.

Danger was the last to be dropped at her classroom this morning.

Adventure ran off first to meet her friend. She was off to start the brand new world of Junior High (I’m sure I’ll have all the feels and all the things to say about this later) then by age, we deposited them one by one at their classrooms in our neighbourhood elementary school.

As we approached the 6th grade french immersion class, Danger’s friends came rushing down the hall and swept her away.

This image was my goodbye.

At first I was indignant!

Here I am! Let me celebrate you dammit!!!!

And then I looked again, swallowed the lump, and waved. She waved back, a smile filled her face, and an ease came over her body. I remember this feeling. In so many ways she is me, she is mine. Being here in this universe with her people is her happy place. She’s safely in her extroverted social butterfly orbit.

I remember these moments like they were yesterday. Sometimes I wish I could do them all over again; or at least remember them better.

What I’d give to have just one more sleepover in @staceymrodas basement playing Doom into the wee hours of the morning, or basketball for more hours than is reasonable late into the night. As an adult now, I say a deep and honest apology to all the neighbours who put up with my incessant bouncing.

Elementary school do over anyone?

I wonder if I have such fond memories of elementary school because back then boys and girls weren’t so different yet.

Puberty and whatnot hadn’t set in yet. The fact that I was being seen as a girl hadn’t started to severely limit me yet. Sure there were different rules, clothes and codes for me but I could abide up until this point.

It’s the last time I comfortably played sports, it’s when boys and girls weren’t pitted against each other, it’s before I realized that all the girls I had crushes on would never have them back. It’s before everything got so hard, and so repressed. It’s the last part of my childhood that I remember being happy.

I remember than ease and that happiness and I hope so hard that she can hold onto hers so much longer than I held on to mine. But maybe she doesn’t? And maybe that’s okay? Maybe we all have to loose ourselves to have the bliss and freedom of coming back home to ourselves again. And maybe I have to let her to it all on her own? Maybe I have to let her not hug me on her first day of school so she can figure out just how tall she can stand on her own?

Here’s to finding out!

North Kids 2020 first day of school