With children, you have many firsts: first words, first high-fives, first steps, first ER visits, you get the idea. But you get to repeat one “first” every year. And for children and parents across North Alabama, today was yet another first day of school.
This morning, I took our two daughters to their most recent first day of school. Serina, 8, kicked off third grade with Ms. Liz Graham, while her sister, Sophia, 6, started first (another first!) grade with Mrs. Chanel Leslie. Both educators full of passion for their work, their students and their school, Huntsville’s Academy for Academics and Arts.
Fortunately, the first day of school seems to be getting much easier for all of us. For starters, both girls woke up on their own, no pulling, pleading or obnoxious singing from either parent necessary. (Sophia, though, got up a tad too early. David thought he heard her rustling around shortly after 4 a.m. No wonder she passed out on the way to school.)
Also, the school supply lists don’t freak me out like they did when Serina started kindergarten. ‘Oh my gosh! They want Elmer’s glue sticks,’ I thought. ‘I only see Rose Art. What to do?’ I was certain teachers failed students for getting the wrong brands. Apparently, these amazing individuals are much more forgiving than I realized.
Back-to-school clothes shopping was also a breeze this year. Each girl got two new pairs of leggings and t-shirts from Target. That’s it. That’s all they needed. That’s all they wanted. In previous years, I dropped big bucks at Gymboree and neither wore any of their new clothes. Turns out they outgrew cutesy very early.
But they can’t seem to outgrow cute — not in their parents’ eyes, anyway. We think they get even cuter. Every “first day of school” picture is somehow sweeter than the previous year’s snapshot.
One thing did get more difficult, though. Serina, like all the other third graders, now has to (or “gets to,” depending on perspective) carry a laptop to school everyday. That, along with her backpack, feels like she is “carrying an elephant.”
As someone who had to walk two miles to school, uphill and typically in three feet of Minnesota snow, and wrote papers with a typewriter and a bottle of White-out, I don’t feel sorry for any of them.
But I do wish our precious students and their awesome teachers and support staff the most positive, safe and educationally rich school year possible. May God bless you all!