OAKLAND, Calif. - Sweet back-to-school photos from San Francisco to San Jose are surfacing on the Internet, inspired by a recent post of a father in Mississippi who shared two touching scenes of him walking his son to kindergarten and then, 13 years later, to college.
The first day of school has long been a milestone in the calendar year, a popular time to document a child's re-entry back into the academic world. The Mississippi father’s tweet had garnered nearly 60,000 retweets in one day.
“I love this concept! I've been doing it too," Elaina Hargraves posted on Facebook, showing a triptych of photos in 2008 to 2017 of her husband and oldest son walking to his first day of school. "Can't wait to take pics at high school and college graduations!"
In an interview, the Vallejo mother told KTVU that her husband of 23 years, Lawrence Hargraves has been walking their son, Lawrence II, now 14, to Franklin Elementary School and now to the American Indian Public Charter School, both in Oakland, since he was 5.
She snaps photos, however, of their backs, heading off to campus on the “milestone” years, like the first day of kindergarten and the last day of eighth grade. On Monday, when Oakland schools start, she’ll capture the image of the two walking together on the first day of high school.
“I just think it’s beautiful to see how Lawrence II progresses in age and in height,” Hargraves said. “Plus, my husband is an amazing man and an amazing husband. He’s always there.”
Lawrence senior is a custodian at the Piedmont schools and her son loves school; he’s taking AP geometry and history this year. The couple have a younger son, Jonathan, 12, as well.
As for why back-to-school pictures are special to their family? “There’s something sentimental about the first day of school. It shows him from a baby to becoming a young man,” Hargraves said. “Those are things you want to capture.”