Bob Schulties

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🏫👫❤️Many months ago I wrote about traditions. I guess it’s hypocritical of me to have poked fun at the idea of them when, holy hell, I make them too.

For almost their entire school lives, on the last day of school, I’ve taken my children to have lunch by the fountain in Grand Army Plaza. It’s not a food destination. There are no restaurants, no tables, no food trucks. It’s just a big fountain in the middle of a particularly busy traffic circle in Brooklyn.

Every year I take the day off from work and make sandwiches to bring to the fountain and we sit in the grass and eat our food. I make sure they understand how proud their mom and I are of them and how next year will be another great year in school. Sometimes we’d walk over the to the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch to pick out a few books. You know, to start off the summer right.

This year, however, was different. This year was the last last-day-of-school-lunch while my daughter is still a NYC student. Next June (that is, June 2020), she will have graduated from NYC’s public school system and be headed off to who knows where. So, while I expect us to still have that lunch next year, today was a marker.

I have savored every minute of those lunches. That includes every car honk, every spray from the fountain, every book from the library. Every single last-day-of-school-lunch they ate with me. I ate it all up. And I’ll always be grateful.