Monday, August 26, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year - back to school!

Does everyone remember this commercial?

That guy is me. Minus the kids. I don't have children in school.

For some odd reason, I am in love with the first week of school. I still remember the smell of the first week of school I used to imagine it smelled of hope and new beginnings (though I now realize it is actually a combination of  bleach and Elmer's glue).

There was nothing quite like opening a brand new box of crayons. Running your fingers over the multicolored points that represented endless possibilities. Speaking of endless possibilities: New notebooks. NEW NOTEBOOKS! In fact, to this day I have never completely filled a notebook.  I usually get about half way through and the call of a fresh pad of paper beckons me to abandon the old and christen the new.

I may sound like a crazy person, but to me the first day of school is akin to New Years day. I remember my first day back to school after a nearly two year hiatus. I was a transfer student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (go, Rebels!) and extremely nervous to be back but beyond excited. It was a fresh start, and though I my new supply list was void a brand new box of Crayola's I did revel in the feel of the glossy text book sheets against my fingers. I loved the challenge of a new year, a new environment, and the opportunity of an education.

I am a sucker for the first day of school, which is probably why I married a teacher and also why I majored in Elementary Education. I've enjoyed dozens of my own first days of school, witnessed countless others as my husband ushers in a fresh crop of students each year, but suddenly I am faced with a whole new world of firsts. My oldest daughter is preparing for Kindergarten next year. KINDERGARTEN! It will probably be my best and worst first day of school to date. This morning I drove my dear little darling past her new school. She'll be participating in a special Pre-K class this year. Half the students will be "typical peers" and the other half will have various special needs. The typical peers will help model behavior for the special needs students, while all the students participate in the standard state curriculum for preschool. My daughter has been invited as a typical peer.

As I drove her past her new school I pointed it out of the window. Her eyes grew wide with anticipation, her little legs started kicking with excitement and she asked, "Is that really my school, Mommy? Do I really get to go to a REAL school?" Being an emotional wreck as I usually am, my eyes brimmed with tears of joy at her enthusiasm for learning and the prospect of a new beginning.

I loved every first step on my journey to my degree, and I love that no matter how old or young one might be, you are always being afforded opportunities for an education.

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