The First Day of School

When I went to open house for elementary school with both of my boys last week, I may very well have been as excited as they were. When I found out who my younger son’s teacher would be, I got choked up and had tears in my eyes. I’ll be the first to admit that I am an emotional person, but I was a little startled by my reaction.

I have to dig deep into the recesses of my mind, wiping away the cobwebs and struggling to see in the dim light to remember what my first days of school were like. When I was growing up, we were told our teacher for the next year on the last day of school. Where I live now, they make you sweat it out. You’ve got to wait the whole summer.

Today is the day that I knew would come. No matter how much you prepare for it, though, it never seems to go the way that you think it should go. It’s the first day of school and I officially have two children in elementary school.

This morning, parents waited at bus stops, took pictures of their kids with their new clothes and backpacks, they waved to the buses, they choked back tears, they shed tears, they rejoiced over this newfound freedom that they have with kids in school, and then they shed some more tears as they realized that their kids are indeed growing up.

Funny how that happens, no matter what, still time marches on. You just can’t stop it. One chapter ends and another one begins. Summer turns to Fall which turns to Winter which turns to Spring, and then you start the whole cycle all over again. Time marches on.

Just a few years into this elementary school thing and I have been incredibly grateful. The teachers that my kids have had (well, my kid, since it’s only this year that the second one is starting) have been great. The school is close. There are plenty of opportunities where my wife and I can volunteer. There’s a great program for dads to spend a whole day at the school helping out. The community is great. We’ve just felt blessed.

I know that my parents felt that way about the schools that my brother and I went to as well. My mom eventually started working at my old elementary school. My dad would substitute teach when the opportunities arose, which is a whole other story altogether. Looking back on it, I felt very blessed to have had the school system that I did. Good teachers. Good opportunities. I was blessed.

All of these memories flood back into my head as I walk to the bus stop this morning. It’s the first day of school and I’m excited, maybe as excited as my kids are. I really can’t wait to meet the bus later on and hear how it all went.

So begins another year and another chapter…..


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