It seems that summer went by far too quickly this year. Suddenly, fall is in the air and life is settling back into routines. For many people, that routine includes the return to school for their children and the many extracurricular activities available such as sports and dance. After a slower-paced summer of long days and little routine, life picks up again and moves at a much quicker pace. As this time of year always does, it brings back memories of when I was student and the nervous anticipation I always felt during those dying days of August and when September loomed closer.
There are plenty of jokes made about how this is a happy time for parents and a sad time for children and teachers. A national company has even made the Christmas carol “The Happiest Time of the Year” into a “back to school” jingle and shows happy parents with un-happy children buying school supplies in their commercials. In truth, most teachers are happy to head back to their classrooms and I think most kids are anxious to get back, if for no other reason than to see the friends they have not seen all summer.
Over the past couple weeks, stores have been busy with parents and children buying school supplies and new clothes for school. This week, as I drove to work, I noticed the hustle and bustle of children going to school, either walking or being dropped off by school buses. There is something bittersweet about that first day of school, and I still feel it even after all these years. That first day is such a mixture of emotions, ranging from happiness to nervousness and uncertainty about the new year. I remember feeling this way on my own first day of school each and every fall. Later on, I felt it again each time my own children began their school year. This week, I had butterflies in my stomach as my grandson prepares to start his second year of pre-school. It’s not that going to school is so bad, it’s just that first day of uncertainty that is so nerve racking.
Loving and hating that first day of school is a part of growing up and is truly a ritual of autumn. This is the time of year everyone gets back to regular routines, and in Saskatchewan, we are already planning what we are going to do and what we are going to plant next summer, even as we slowly begin to turn our thoughts to Christmas.
My hope for all students and teachers is that you have a wonderful school year. For parents, I hope the return to “normal” is stress free and that you and your children enjoy the coming months.