These most certainly are the days

I'm walking my dog by The Lane Elementary. As we approach, she eyes the bulky bulldogs guarding the front and goes down on her front paws, ready to play. But the dogs are made of concrete. Recent additions honoring the school's bulldog mascot, they are lovely.

"Not real," I say on repeat. Trying to teach her a new command.

She sniffs and realizes I'm right. We walk on. Cement dogs capture her curiosity. If you see a curious husky pulling toward your house to greet your dog statue, sorry. But she is friendly.

It's May. Graduation month. Joyful, exciting, bittersweet. As we walk home, I count on my fingers and try to remember when my son graduated from The Lane - 2011, I think. This spring he's graduating from Indiana University. How'd that happen? Cliché, I know, but it's true.

Once home, I pull out the vacuum to remove the dog fur carpeting the hardwood. I don't like cleaning, but like a clean house. I've found the trick is adding music - makes it easier, fun, almost. I put in my earbuds and turn on my phone. Remembering how my kid always teases me because I don't have a streaming service.

"Mom, you're always listening to the same songs."

"Umm, there's like hundreds of them," I respond.

Songs he's heard on our road trips to Texas. Music that helped him with History of Rock 'n Roll at IU. (Insert eye roll here.) I have my favs and don't tire of them.

10,000 Maniacs comes on. "These are days you'll remember." Doesn't Natalie Merchant have a beautiful voice? The lyrics, listen to them. Seriously, I get teary. It's the perfect song for all kinds of new beginnings.

I embarrassed myself speaking with a new neighbor the other day. Her family is moving in soon and she asked about the neighborhood. I got gushy about the schools.

I know, Hinsdale schools have some issues. But honestly, problems are everywhere. Overall, I think my son received a great education in Hinsdale.

I mean, I went to school in St. Charles. I didn't have AP Euro. Instead, I made Barbie clothes in history class styled from the 1800s. My mom was ticked. "That's not teaching you history."

In my sixth-grade class, they experimented on us with a new-fangled learn-on-your-own style of math. It benefited like two or three boys.

So, as my son graduates and moves on, I extend a warm thank you to his teachers and everyone in our Hinsdale school community. And congratulations to all the graduates, kindergarten through college! Remember your Hinsdale days. May they "grow and bloom in you."

- Lisa Seplak of Hinsdale is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].