I can't believe the day is almost here, my baby, my youngest of four children, is starting kindergarten this year. He still seems so little to me, so young and vulnerable, and certainly not ready to be away from me five days a week, eight hours a day. He has to ride city transportation all by his little self, follow directions, interact with other children--how will my baby manage this? I was never this nervous with my three older children, they were all obviously ready to make their escape from my protective arms. But Matthew, he's more like me, more afraid of change and new things, more fragile. On Tuesday, Sept. 8, I'm going to be a wreck all day, waiting by the phone in case he needs me. Part of me is really looking forward to this new phase for us, for me--I haven't had my days free since I became a mother--19 years ago. But another part of me just wants to grab my little boy and hold him close, never letting him go. For him, it's his very first day of school; for me, it's the LAST very first day of school. But for both of us, it's a day that will change our lives, our relationship, forever.