the last

getting up today was tough
I knew what it was
knew what was going to happen
wasn’t sure how’d I feel
but knew I’d feel something

today was your last day of school
your senior year
high school is over
like Coop said,
school’s out for summer
school’s out forever

today would be the last time
I drove you to school
and picked you up

so many times
I have done that
watching you grow
from a small scared
into this adult
right before my eyes
its been years
but seems shorter

I handed you
a little balloon
on a stick
that said congratulations
you had on
all black
and a flower crown
you got out of the car
I wanted to come with you
like I used to
walk you up to your schoolroom
but I didn’t
I watched you walk up the steps
just for a second
then drove away

when I picked you up
it seemed like any other day
nothing weird or strange
you told me how your day went
we got take-out
you had chicken strips
and a burger
I had fried zucchini
and a club sandwich
my food wasn’t good
yours was okay

I remember when you wanted
to take the bus to school
be like other kids
I walked you to the bus stop
made sure you were okay
then went around the corner
acting like I wasn’t keeping an eye
on you
then that first day of school
I hid in the bushes
so I wouldn’t embarrass you
and when you got off that bus
you ran to me
in front of all the kids
and yelled
that you made a friend
it broke my heart
I wanted to cry for you right then
like I am now writing this

you make my heart hurt everyday
I worry about you everyday
you make my heart swell
with love, joy and pride

I am so proud of you
I will watch you walk
get your diploma
that says all of this
was worth it

everything I have ever done
for you has been worth it
and no matter what you do now
I will never love you any less
I will always be proud of you
I will always worry about you
I will always cry
when I’m by myself
thinking about
how amazing you are
and how lucky I have been
to be your father
your protector
your daddy

I miss you so much
and yet you are just
sleeping in the room
a few feet from me

becoming a teenager
changed a lot of things
but I know
you knew
you were always loved
you knew I was always here
I tried not to smother you
but I wanted to every second
of every day
and protect from every horrible
thing the world has to offer
I still do
but I know
that I have to stand back
just a little
and let you see for yourself
how it is
you have to be able to survive
and this is the hardest part of
being a parent
and I hate it so much

god how I miss those days
of eating cereal in the morning
watching Bob-Bob
and you thinking that I was
the greatest guy on the planet

I need to cut this short
the tears are so heavy in
my eyes
that I can’t see what I’m typing
and I’m not that good of a

just know
that I love you so much, Chaile,
and I always will
forever and ever
even after I’m gone

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