Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to School

I enjoy the whole “back-to-school buzz”. Normally I have to limit my exposure to the aisles of new notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, backpacks, etc. because if I don’t I could fill a shopping cart and cause my bank balance to suffer from hunger pangs. This year has kind of snuck up on me because our kids are starting school almost two weeks earlier than they normally do. I’m not sure how prepared we are, but we’ll see I guess. This year I’ll have to pack lunches, and we won’t have school uniforms so that will be an adjustment for all of us.

When I was growing up I enjoyed school, and I was always excited about going back to school. Almost without fail I would wake up about 17 times during the night, nervous that I had overslept and was going to be late for the big day. My new outfit would be all picked out, my bag packed and all that jazz.

I think that for me, part of the thrill of going back to school was the reunion. Some of my friends would be gone for the summer months, so I was always excited to get to see them again.

I am enthused about the return to routine again. Not so much about the early mornings! Also enthused about my children not being together 24/7. I’m ready to take a break from being the referee.

Summer provides a nice break, but I’m a creature of habit so I rather enjoy the scheduled regularity of the school year. I like the “early-to-bed-early-to-rise” rhythm of the week. I also find intentional learning stimulating and enjoy seeing my kids learn new things. I even enjoy working with them on their homework.

When I was a kid, I always knew the beginning of the school year was imminent because I’d get a new pair of shoes. There’s nothing like the suggestive power of new shoes: I believed they could honestly help me run faster and jump higher.

As I got older, the first day of school provided occasion to jockey for position in the classroom based on one of two criteria:

A. Either I’d look for a good friend and sit next to them
B. I’d look for a pretty girl and sit next to her. Yes, I was a nerd, but I fancied myself a regular Casanova.

I remember the first time I attended a school that involved changing classrooms for each period and using lockers. Compared to primary school, junior high felt huge; and, compared to junior high, high school felt gi-normous, so I was nervous: “What if I don’t make it to class on time? What if I get lost?” I remember walking quickly through the hallways, heart beating rapidly, eyes focused only on what was in front of me so as to get to my locker and to the next class without incident.

1 comment:

JasonBecca said...

I am so with you, Heather! I had shopped a bit for school supplies while we were in Texas the past few weeks but I almost hyperventilated when I came home and found Carrefour full of school supplies too! (not sure why I was so surprised - school needs are about the same everywhere...) I had to restrain myself! I even shopped for school supplies before I was a mom - usually using some lame excuse or another :-) So I'm looking forward to next year when my 4-year-old daughter will need school supplies for real :-)