Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oh, The Sweet Anticipation (for me, at least)

Labor Day Weekend.

This is it, folks.  This is the end of summer.  No matter what the calendar says.  This is the last hurrah.  Most kids go back to school Tuesday morning and are all too aware that the end of their freedom is looming.  I know mine are.

I am raising two very typical boys.  They won't admit any excitement for the impending start of the new school year, but I know it's in there.  I could tell the way they walked around their school during the open house, chests all puffed out with pride in their school, strutting the fact that they are now in the two oldest grades at the school.  The way they greeted friends with that half-bored, half-excited tone in their voice, trying to seem too cool to be excited about school.  It was fun to watch.  But they are typical boys, meaning that's about all the emotion they will show about it.  On Tuesday morning, they will wake up groggy, put on whatever shorts and shirt are on top of the stack in their dressers, brush their teeth, and come down for some breakfast.  I will be the one making sure their hair isn't too wild and that their outfits aren't too unfortunate.  They will not care.  They will shovel in some breakfast and we'll head out to the bus with the dog, as if it's any other school day.  Hubby says this is typical for boys.

It was a little different for me as a kid.  I don't know if I'm that typical of a girl, but for me the first day of school was a Very.  Big.  Deal.  And the weekend leading up to it was no doubt spent preparing for the first day.

I can remember the first day of fifth grade, which is where A is headed this year.  I remember it because  I was starting (yet again) at a new school (and I guess because full disclosure--I think I remember all my first days pretty clearly...).  We had moved to Wyoming the year before, between 3rd and 4th grade.  Our neighborhood school was wait-listed, so we had to be bussed to another school in town.  A super crappy school, actually.  But the next year we were able to get in to our neighborhood school.  So this was the FOURTH time in my short school career that I would be a new kid.

I was excited to go to this school.  It was two blocks up the street, so I could walk there.  Some kids I recognized from the neighborhood would probably be there.  I didn't have any friends my age yet in this town, and I was hoping to meet some.  I remember my room at the time.  It was immaculate.  I had made sure it was perfectly clean, perfectly organized for the school year.  I had a record player on top of my dresser.  I'm pretty sure the soundtrack from "Grease" or the Bee Gees were on it.  I had my outfit planned out days in advance.  We didn't have much money, so I usually only had a couple new pieces.  But I always had new shoes.  And they were lined up on the floor perfectly, waiting for that first day.  I would never have considered wearing them before that day.  I even remember what they were that year:  dark blue Nikes with a light blue swish.

And the school supplies.  I would have them out on a shelf arranged so I could see them all.  I was always so excited to use them for the first time!  To put them all in my desk and arranged them all in some perfect, OCD fashion.

I remember going to the school that first day.  Walking there by myself, wanting to be independent.  I entered the school from the wrong door, because I didn't know what I was doing.  I remember that awesome school smell.  The other kids were all out playing on the playground, and I remember walking through the school when the bell rang.  By the time I passed the door closest to my classroom, I could see all the kids lined up outside the door waiting to come in.  The reason I remember this so clearly was because there, at the door, first in line, was the boy who lived a few houses up the street from me.  And oh, did I love him.  I remember feeling so excited and nervous!  What if he is in my class?  What if he sits by me?  What if he decides I am the prettiest girl he's ever seen and he wants to marry me?  What if he wants to walk home with me?

But he wasn't in my class.  And I pretty much never officially met him or had a conversation with him.  Still, though.  It added so much to my day, seeing him out there.

I ended up making some friends.  I got invited to a couple birthday parties.  I liked my teacher.  Looking back, I can't believe how boy crazy I actually was.  I look at my kids, and I can't believe there might be girls who get all silly when they see them.

So on Tuesday I'll put my kids on that bus.  They'll head off to a new year.  Some old friends, some new ones.  New shoes (that are already dirty).  And they'll start making a new year full of memories.  Most of which will be unknown to me.  It's going to be a good year.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it funny how clearly we remember things like the first day of 5th grade, but can't remember what to get at the grocery without our dependable list?! Emotional events are always so clear and alluring! :) Nicely written.