It’s August, and you know what that means in Louisiana…school is starting! The beginning of the school year brings with it so many emotions, and so many memories. As a child, I was always excited for the first day of school, to find out who my teacher was going to be, and which of my friends were going to be in my class. A new year brought fresh notebooks, a brand new Trapper Keeper, and newly sharpened pencils.
As a parent, there’s still some excitement. I’m eager to find out which teachers my children have, and which of their friends (and by extension, which parents I’ve become friendly with) will be in their classes.
As a child, I couldn’t wait for my mom to take me shopping for back-to-school. Picking out the perfect new outfit, locating all of the supplies on the list, choosing a new lunch box. As a parent, it’s not quite as fun. Now it’s my money we’re spending. And we just pay a supply fee, so there is no hunting around for the right kind of markers and erasers. (Okay, maybe that’s a good thing.) The boys wear uniforms, so there will be no unveiling of that perfect outfit. You know the one…
The first day of school in the ’80s meant the perfect puzzle-print tunic and matching leggings, Tretorns and a fresh perm!
Anyway, this year my boys are starting kindergarten. They have been at their school full-time for two years already, so it shouldn’t be a big deal. But this is real. Preschool is optional, after all. But kindergarten is where they’ll learn to read, where they’ll probably lose their first teeth. It’s where they’ll turn into “big kids.” Any lingering traces of their babyhood will be left behind. And that’s what’s tough.
Next year they’ll be in first grade. They’ll sit in real desks, in rows. They’ll have homework. So I will cherish every day of kindergarten, and welcome the big boys that will take the place of my babies.