Congratulations parents! You've made it through another summer of being the cruise director of your children's entertainment, purchased school supplies, washed the uniforms, and now get to drop them off at their institutions of learning for the day/semester. Every ounce of patience the good Lord gave you has been sucked out of you, and you need a break. Remember to give your children's teachers a small token of appreciation as you pass the baton to them. Here's a hint: Starbucks gift cards are a favorite, and please fulfill one of the items from their wish list. They deserve it.
Being a former teacher, I love this time of year. Setting up my classroom was always a highlight. It was therapeutic to clean out the nasty crayon stubs, sharpen new pencils, and label everything for the incoming students. It was better than New Year's Day! The feeling of a fresh start with endless possibilities gave me a high that only teachers can understand. It also meant my favorite season was coming; and bringing glorious colors, Kentucky basketball, and cooler temperatures with it. Thank. You. Jesus.
To the first time parents of a Kindergartener: it's going to be ok. Just breathe. It's perfectly normal to shed a few tears as you leave your five year old on their first day. However, it is not normal to hang around the entire day stalking their every move. You're not doing the teachers any favors creeping around, "just to see if they get homesick." Trust me, your precious babies are completely fine. In fact, they are growing up and taking a necessary step towards becoming a functioning adult. Let them. For the love of all that is holy, please let them. During my PTA days at Bear, we created the "Boo Hoo/Yahoo!" annual celebration for the first day of school; complete with coffee, muffins and Kleenex. The veterans could talk the rookies off the ledge, and add eager volunteers to the lists for the upcoming events. Win/Win! Thinking back, there may have been mimosas in a few of those travel mugs, but I can't say that for a fact. What they snuck in their tumbler was none of my business. Whatever gets you through the day, boo.
BTS pics have taken over social media for the time being. I love seeing the little smiling faces, excited and a bit anxious, holding the signs emblazoned with their grade level. I'm impressed and a little jealous viewing the creativity parents exhibit in making dorm rooms look like a picture out of Elle Decor. In my day, we got plastic storage tubs and blackout curtains from Walmart. Zaps (I think they're called party pics now) were our decor. There was no pre-plan with the roommate to choose fine linens. We received our parent's old stuff and they bought well-deserved new digs for their emptying nest. Times have most certainly changed. The dorm rooms nowadays are nicer than my third apartment, and I was a graduate with a job!
I sincerely hope that the new school year brings knowledge, excitement, fun, maturity, and new friends to the students. I hope the teachers feel prepared, encouraged, energized, motivated, and most importantly appreciated. I hope the parents get a break from the, "I'm bored", complaints summer brings, and find more time during the weekday to get back to adulting. You're going to need it, because homework and after school activities are coming. Get those calendars out, the lazy daze of summer is over. Good luck!
Here's one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Seuss:
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."
Great advice. My prayer is that we all choose the virtuous direction this year, at least most of the time. Have a fantastic year!