The First Day of School

I remember our oldest son’s first day of school.  Well, actually his first day is less memorable to me than the night before his first day of school.

I made sure that we were all home early that evening to enjoy a very wholesome home cooked meal, complete with dessert.  The house was organized and prepared for our newly advanced step in parenthood.  Becoming the parents of a student was a very big deal for us. 

All of the laundry had been done, folded and put away so that everything could be found easily should there be the need for a last-minute wardrobe change.  His new school outfit was carefully pressed and laid out on his dresser ready for him in the morning, complete with underwear, socks, and little clean shoes for inside.

He was bathed, scrubbed and polished, and put to bed early in his fresh clean sheets so that he could be bright and alert for his new teacher on his first day of school.   – Oh crap I have to stop writing here so I can have a good cry –

OK, I’m back.  Hopefully Kelly doesn’t read this one, she’ll be a mess.

I spent the rest of the evening putting every box of cereal we had on the table in the order of his favorites so that he could easily choose what he would like to eat.  I set out 4 bowls and 4 spoons in an effort to encourage his little brother and his Dad to eat with him on such a big day.  Oh, but what if he wants toast?!?  I made sure that there was bread on the counter by the toaster and that all of the toppings were ready with a spoon beside them so I could quickly put whatever he wanted on his toast.  Glasses were set out for juice. 

Finally, my husband gently let me know that I was being crazy and I went to bed.  But not before I reorganized all of his school supplies in his little back pack and made sure his name was on everything.  I didn’t pack his lunch because I wanted to have an excuse to go see him at lunch time, and then everything would be nice and fresh.  I added a little snack incase he got hungry at recess time.

The first day of kindergarten went off without a hitch.  Thank God for that.  If there had been a hitch I probably would have crumbled.  His first ride on the big yellow bus was amazing and so much fun.  I beat the bus to the school and was there to greet him and help him find his classroom.  His teacher, Mrs. Johnson was there to get all the new kindergarten students settled in, and her amazing assistant – Mrs. Jeannie Smith – was there to get all the new kindergarten parents settled out.  I remember her gently telling us that we could leave now, they had everything under control. 

I need to mention here that Mrs. Smith mailed each student a letter the summer following kindergarten telling them how proud she was of them and how she knew that they would do well in grade 1.  Amazing hey?  More amazing is the fact that she mailed them letters at the end of Grade 12 telling them how proud she was of them for graduating that year.  By this time she wasn’t even working in the school system anymore.  How’s that for making a difference in a child’s life?  We are all proud of you Mrs. Smith!  I need to remind our son to write her a letter and tell her that. 

Hold on, I need to get more Kleenex.

Well, today marked our 14th first day of school.  That little boy who was in kindergarten is finished school and returns to college in January, our middle son is starting grade 12, and our daughter is in grade 6.  Today ran a bit differently.  

Yesterday, I realized that our daughter has been living in flip-flops and cowboy boots all summer.  Feeling that neither of those would be appropriate for gym class I went to the public pool in town and, after a few failed attempts, was able to pull my 11-year-old daughter from the water and from her friends long enough to go to the store and buy her some shoes.  It was down to the wire, but we managed to find something suitable and saved her from being the shoeless kid on the first day of school.

Dinner last night was leftover lasagna, and there wasn’t enough for everyone so some had to fry an egg or nuke a hot dog for themselves.

I went to bed before my sons did last night, so who knows what time they shut down.

This morning, our oldest son left for work very early and told me to wish the kids good luck at school today.  That was sweet.  I wondered if he was wishing that he was going to school too…..

….then I started to wonder if there were any clean clothes ready for school this morning!  And did we have any milk for cereal, or bread for toast?

It turned out that we were mostly prepared.  There was food for breakfast, although I don’t think our middle son ate, but I can’t be sure.  Our daughter looked stunning in the outfit that she had apparently set out for herself last night.  Our son had no socks, but he’s used to that, and I think that his jeans were floods but it seemed like the wrong time to tell him.  I’m sure someone at school will let him know.  He has other choices, but he doesn’t appreciate my help with his fashion sense, so I backed off this morning.

Take one....not going to work for a few obvious reasons.

We took the annual picture by the door before they left.  The dog lay down in front and pawed up our daughter’s clean shoes with his muddy feet.  She quickly got over it and they were gone. 

Take 2.......does the dog look bored to you?

I went back inside and found our son’s lunch had been forgotten on the counter.  Hope he has his debit card …. or maybe I should use it as an excuse to go find him at lunch time and bring him something nice and fresh.

Take 3 ..... let's try another dog.


Take 4 ... get rid of the dogs.

 “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”   William Yeats




6 responses to “The First Day of School

  1. awww….have a great first day kids, we start the madness tomorrow !!
    ps. That first pic made me laugh out loud 🙂

  2. As the Mother to the writter I can recall her first day at school in Estevan …she went to the playground and found a new friend and instructed me to please go home which I did spending the morning watching the clock until I could pick her up and I believe I used a few kleenexes…she was not like her sister (the fertile one) who clung to my leg yelling “dont leave me here with these people. Good luck kids this year and make it your best one yet

    • Aw, I must have been so cute! Poor Tracy, that’s a rough way to start out but she ended up having better marks than me so I guess she worked out her fear of school. The first day went well here. Our high school senior started the day by giving his math teacher a hug and telling her that he’s going to be in her class twice every day so they better learn to get along. What a guy! Our girl had a good day too.

  3. Great post Terra. How things change! Love the pics too!

  4. Thanks Erin! Before you know it you guys are going to be taking those pictures by the front door….and I have a feeling yours will have some uncooperative dogs in it too!

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