I love this time of year. I always have. The weather, in theory, starts to cool down. The trees are thinking of trading the myriad of greens for reds, golds and oranges. School supplies are on the shelves, sweaters and boots are in the stores and the lazy days of summer are traded for backpacks filled with crayons, pencils and a plethora of other required supplies. There is a feeling of equal parts excitement and dread in the air. Feelings I never really understood until I became a mom.
I LOVE starting school. I always have. I still love the idea of sitting in a classroom, a brand new notebook open, crisp white paper in front of me, a freshly sharpened pencil in hand and poised to begin whatever journey the teacher has planned. I love the smell of scotch tape or opening a brand new box of crayons all their tips perfectly sharpened as they wait for someone to transform their colors into something stunning. It always greets me as a new adventure, one with unlimited possibilities if I'm wiling to put the work in.
Once I had children that excitement changed to include them and the adventures they would have, the journeys they would take and the lessons they would learn. OK so it also includes the fact that they are at school and not at home fighting with each other but that is another blog entirely. Every year I talk up school. I ask them what they are excited about... "nothing... school sucks", is my most common response, although recess is a a close second. I ask them what is something you really hope you'll learn more about this year.... "nothing ... school sucks."
We have had talks about attitude, stretching ourselves, reaching out to others.... "great how about if I do that from my bike as I ride around the neighborhood" Nothing seems to get them excited. They are nervous, anxious and dread-filled.... How did this happen? I managed to pass on my eye color to one, my hair color to another, my sarcasm and wit along with so many other things but not my excitement for learning, at least not in a school environment. I blame it all on their father's genes. He has the same attitude. He goes because he has to. There is no joy in it. I haven't been able to cheer lead him into a different state of mind either. So as the school year kicks off. I will relish the new supplies, the adventures on the horizon and shake my pom-poms until they realize... "Hey school didn't TOTALLY suck today b/c:" I made a new friend, we had pizza for lunch, we are reading Harry Potter again, recess was extra long, I got a A; can we hang it on the fridge? Whatever it is we'll celebrate it and maybe my genes will push their way up to the front. Until then I'll keep relishing it for all of us.
I now return you back to your regularly scheduled programing. I've got pencils to buy :).