The first day of school is practically a holiday. You fill the school supply list, shop for a special outfit, and pose for a picture or two on the way to the bus stop.

There was no such fanfare for us this year. My son, Aaron, is starting his senior year of high school. But he decided to take advantage of the Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) program r to gain college credits while also fulfilling his high school requirements. So his first day of school was about two weeks ago. And his first class that day was at 1PM. So he slept in like almost any other day of summer. He also has Fridays off. He will continue to live at home, so he doesn't even have to start living on mac and cheese just yet, and his mom will still do most of his laundry. I don't recall college being so laid back.

There was no photo op that morning/afternoon either. Any thought of that was quickly quelled by his implied threat to grab the camera and bonk me on the head with it. No need to go supply shopping due to the extra notebooks and folders we have accumulated over the years.

Things are also different for his sister, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire in May and is getting ready to start a job this month. I still remember her first day of kindergarten. She told us about the "bouncy bus" ride to school.

I suppose the next milestone for my me and my wife will be when we have an empty nest after sending our son off to college for real. If we can get him to leave the house.

Aaron going off to his first day of kindergarten in 2003. He is a high school senior this year, but is taking a full load of classes at a community college. Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media