This is the time of year when children all over the country are trading in their swimsuits and camp shirts for school uniforms and lunchboxes – ready to leave behind the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer and head back to school. I remember as a child, I LOVED this time of year! You got to use all those brand new school supplies – ah, the smell of a fresh new notebook and pencil case, and the feel of that new bookbag on your shoulders. And who could forget all the new school clothes? All the shiny bells and whistles to show off to your friends, as you eagerly recount to them your summer adventures.
I always recall one of my favorite episodes of The Cosby Show, where Cliff and Clair Huxtable celebrated the first day of school as if it were a national holiday. It was the day they “got their house back” from the children, who seemed to just be hanging around all summer. As the mother of a first-grader and pre-schooler, the first day of school is somewhat of a mixed blessing to me. For our family, the routine didn’t change much over the summer, as Izzy and Yvette attended a summer program sponsored by their school that encourages using the summer to strengthen academics as well as prepare them for the next grade. The schedule is similar to their regular Fall/Spring schedule, with additional play time and almost weekly field trips. So in terms of the time we get ready in the morning and bedtime at night, our daily routine didn’t change until the last 3 weeks, when camp was over. Fortunately though, we do not have to perform the systematic deprogramming many parents have to in order to get their children. or themselves for that matter, ready for the new school schedule.
Though the fictitious Huxtable parents were excited about the first day of school, I submit many parents dread this time of year – suffering long lines, long school supply lists and slim pickings for last-minute back-to-school items from _____ (insert any discount retailer here). Now is the time to struggle getting the kids up earlier instead of letting them sleep their summer mornings away! But as a parent of very young children, I look at it positively – the beginning of their next year of learning new things. Things they will share with us at the dinner table. New concepts and facts they will proudly recall in the car on the way home. So parents, let’s be like the Huxtables and celebrate “National Back to School Day”!
Here’s wishing all the students a successful school year…and all the parents a relatively stress-free school year!