Back to School: Some Thoughts

Nicole, in her post "Juggling" wrote recently about the speed with which summer is flying by, and how much she still hopes to accomplish before it ends. Her post put me in mind of a piece I wrote back in August of 2001. I dug it out tonight and decided it still rings true, so I thought I would share it with you. Remember, it was written six years ago, and I've survived not having any kiddos of my own going back to school! But there remains something wonderful and anticipatory about these last few weeks of August.

This morning as I drove to work I went through the public high school property as I normally do when school is not in session. I drove past the field where the Bandos were practicing, looking crisp and erect and so serious, and all at once it dawned on me that this is the first September in many, many years that I've not have SOMEONE going back to school! And I got a lump in my froat and was newly aware of my own mortality . . . .

I've always thought of Labor Day as the REAL New Year's Day, and I suspect I'm not alone.

It's a wonderful time of year. We have the sense of New Opportunity, Second (third, fourth, etc.) Chance, Fresh Beginning. We can see Potential ahead and wonder what it holds.

Today I'm really glad I work in a school. The housekeeping people are working their magic in the halls outside my office with their waxers and buffers and whatevers, with Ole Blue Eyes on at top volume in the background. Cars pull up to the little farmhouse on campus that serves as the bookstore and people emerge from the store with stiff new brown paper bags, full of Potential. Out on the field kids run and sweat and grin, waving rackets and sticks.

Kinda makes me feel like I should go out and purchase a plaid dress.


Nicole said…
Now you have me thinking! I loved back to school time, when I was a kid, when I was actually a teacher myself, and when I had kids to send off. I loved the back to school clothes shopping, the new school supplies, and the promise of a fresh start.
Great post Nancy.
Leslie said…
Fun post. Brought to my mind the musings of 'Joe Fox' aka Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail:
"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms."
But a plaid dress is even more iconic. =)
atet said…
I've always been a sucker for back to school -- must be the teacher in me. But this year I'm just so not ready!
LutheranChik said…
Oh, my -- that picture brought back memories of the homemade plaid sailor-yoke dresses my mother made for my first days of school back in primary school. She never had a lot of confidence in her sewing skills, but they were very nice dresses.