I have been scrolling through FB this morning as my friends post their kid’s First Day of School pictures. “Happy 1st Day of Grade One!” shows little ones with brand new runners and backpacks on, proudly holding up the colourful signs. Excited kindergarteners meeting their teachers for the first time, and the more sombre pictures of teens who would rather not have their mother’s take the obligatory first-day pictures every year. I smile at the toothy grins of the young ones, so excited for their school year to commence as well as the youth who may not have as wide a smile, but are nonetheless looking forward to connecting with their school buddies even if they’re not keen on the school year ahead.
I remember my oldest daughter’s first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday. I snapped the First Day picture of her on our front porch and then watched with tears in my eyes as her tiny legs climbed up into that big school bus for the twenty-minute bus ride to school. No sooner had the bus turned the corner from our house that I was blasting into the house to grab my purse and car keys so I could beat the bus to the school to snap the next picture of her stepping off the bus! I followed her into the school with all the other parents who confessed they had done the exact same thing as I, and then waving good-bye to my baby, reluctantly leaving her to face her First Day of School without me. I remember crying all the way home.
It was the same scenario every year more or less. First Day of School pictures snapped as the kids waited for the bus and me crying all the way down the driveway when the big school bus picked them up. Truth be told, it seemed harder and harder each year to see them go. When we dropped our daughter off at the University of Lethbridge to live away from home for the first time, I wept all the two and a half hour drive home!
I have not snapped “First Day” pictures with my kids for several years and I miss it – sort of. It’s nice to not have to worry about school supplies and all the stresses that go with First Days in school. Now I look forward to seeing my grandchildren’s First Day pictures posted, one is starting Grade One this year and the other is starting preschool. My daughter is homeschooling them both and so she is spared the angst of seeing them climb up on a bus and meeting a new teacher and wandering into an unfamiliar school classroom for the first time and yet she admits she is overwhelmed with emotion still. She snaps the pictures of them on their First Day even though their “school” is in their basement and she cries like I did. She is her mother’s daughter.
The last several years I have been on the other side of the desk, so to speak, welcoming new students into my classroom. My kids threatened last year to take First Day pictures of me because I was the only one going back to school. Not so this year. I’m not teaching this year and it’s weird not having to prepare my days around a busy teaching schedule.
I slept in this morning, and it wasn’t until I saw all the pictures posted that I realized it was the First Day of school. I have mixed emotions.
I scroll through the pictures and I can’t help but feel a little on the outside looking in. I miss those First Days. I am feeling a little melancholy – sort of.
My husband is calling to me…
While everyone else is in school today, my husband and I are going for a wonderful drive to the mountains. It’s the first time we’ve been able to do that on The First Day of School in eons. We’ve got some trips together planned during this school year. I’ve got some writing projects in the works, there’s a new grandbaby coming in December…
I’m feeling a little less melancholy all of a sudden. 🙂