i LOVE the first day of school.
i love the first week of school.
ok, let's face it, i'm a big fan of school in general. it's a good time, all around. and, i'm very, very grateful that my children feel the same way thus far.
chuck went back to school today for a week of teacher in-service and preparation. i can't help but laugh about that first year that i didn't go back to school because i was 9 months pregnant and waiting for my firstborn to arrive. i realized that i had enjoyed a "first day" every year since i started kindergarten in '80 (from school to college to my career as a teacher), and i was so sad! i kept bugging chuck to let me go out and help him with his back-to-school shopping. you know - the posters and red pens. he wasn't having it. he's a low-maintenance, bare minimum kinda guy and it shows up in his classroom. so, instead, as the neighborhood children stood on the corner awaiting the bus with their shiny new shoes and lunch boxes, i sat in my house, all fat and pregnant, waiting for a child that was in no hurry to arrive.
well, he did eventually arrive. and i was quite distracted for a while. then #2 came the next fall. and the following fall i discovered i was expecting #3. by the time #4 came along the year after that,... well, let's just say that school was not at the forefront of my mind. i always got a little nostalgic around the beginning of september, but that was the extent of my longing.
the longing, however, has returned. not for me to return to school but for my children. and, i don't want to get rid of them. really, i don't. in fact, i'd have to say that this summer was a lot of fun having them and chuck around (i'm not too proud to admit that my love of schedules and structure has made previous summers... uh... less than appealing). but my kids are ready to get back to "normal." they're bored (don't even get me started on my well-practiced sermon aptly entitled "How the Heck can You be Bored; Have You Seen How Many Toys You Own?"). and this year, as i shopped for their supplies and clothes and shoes, and as i read their back-to-school letters and talked over their teacher assignments, i actually wasn't reliving my longings. i think i've finally let go of my love of school as a student and a teacher; now, i love school as a parent.
i love to see my kids learning.
i love to help them with their homework (really).
i love hearing my kids' stories and my husband's stories at the dinner table.
i love volunteering in their classrooms, watching their teachers do their hard job and appreciating, from experience, the effort they are willing to give for the sake of my children.
i love watching them interact with peers and sometimes learn the hard lessons that come with that.
i love the structure our days take on as my children assume the responsibility of their lives (albeit, in small ways).
now, i'm not saying that's what all mom's mean when they say they're glad their kids are going back to school.
but that's my story.