Every September it’s the same.
I run into moms who are either:
- sad to see summer vacation end, or
- sad that their child is growing up and advancing to the next grade.
They’re on Facebook and Twitter confessing their own tears as their child boards the school bus. They’re in ShopRite and Target wishing the summer would never end.
And I feel like there’s something wrong with me, because I don’t get it. On either count.
I like the beginning of a new school year: the new pencils, new planners, new crayons and new notebooks. I like checking the school website to see who’ll be my child’s teacher this year. I like getting the email with the soccer schedule. I like seeing the bus roll up the hill toward the house on the first day.
I also like the structure that the school year provides. Summer is way too loose, too open-ended for my taste, even with soccer camp and theater camp to keep a kid busy on a regular basis.
The first day of school doesn’t make me cry for the loss of the freedom of summer OR over the fact that my kids are growing older.
Yes, I deeply miss the two who are now out of the house (one working and living on his own, and one in college). But I’m also deeply proud of them, and excited about their new adventures.
For me, September is a joyful time. It’s a time for a new start, full of possibility and potential.
While I’m not the parent dancing down the aisle in that Staples commercial, I do think this is a wonderful time.
The trick this year, for me, is to stop feeling ashamed of that back-to-school anticipation and to embrace the challenge of making this a wonderful school year all around.