today. on my first day back at school. i cried.

you see.

once upon a time. when i was a child. a long time ago. on my first day ever of school. when it was time for my mother to drop me off at the classroom door and leave. i cried. with a primal abandon. i cried because i didn’t want my mother to go. i was afraid, it seemed, of the parting. and the starting.

and, every year on my first day of school: in first grade. and second grade. and eleventh grade. and twelfth grade. and in college. every year, on the first day of school, i cried. and i resigned myself, over the years, to the thought that the crying was about the parting. and the starting. because. so it seemed.

and today. on this first day of my final journey in school. again. i cried. i caught myself at the doors to the lecture hall. with stinging, blinding tears in my eyes. tears. stinging. blinding. while i fumbled in my handbag for a tissue to dry my tears. my fingers seeking a shroud to hide the naked outburst. and it finally dawned on me. all these years later. on this last leg of the journey. that the tears, all along, were not about parting. or starting. all along. the tears were about: uncertainty.