Sunday, August 24, 2014

Last First Day of School

First Day of School | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
My oldest on a first day of school
when my youngest was still in diapers.
The first day of school is a fantastic day. All the lunch boxes are as clean as they will be all year. They are shiny and free of crumbs that get stuck in the cracks, stickiness that refuses to completely scrub off, and that nasty smell that will not go away after the first weekend someone leaves the lunchbox at school with half a sandwich and two sips of milk still inside.

The first day of school is a glorious day. It is the only day all year that our children will not complain that they have nothing to wear. Their new clothes are still un-torn and lack pudding stains. Their shoes do not have gum stuck on the soles. Their pant legs still hang all the way past their ankles.
My oldest and youngest spent
time marching on the football field. 

The first day of school is a terrific day. Their are no library books missing or balances due at the cafeteria. All the school supplies are fresh and new. Erasers still work. Pencils are still pointy and the $80 calculator can still be found in its assigned compartment of the brand new book bag.

The first day of school means seeing lots of friends, meeting new teachers and beginning a new year in a new grade. It can be scary, exciting, and even thrilling.

Then the students come home and hand packets of mandatory paperwork to us, their parents, who will spend the next few hours filling out and signing thousands of pieces of paper with emergency contact information, lists of health conditions and allergies, permission to do this and that, and assurances that we do indeed fully understand all the rules and expectations of the educational experience. 
Mr. Turtle's Class | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Even Mr. Turtle sends his class home with
paperwork for parents to complete.

Our children are issued laptops or Chrome books or iPads so they can study, interact with teachers, and complete assignments via the latest technology. And yet we parents are still filling out reams of paper during the first week of school. I am sure the option to complete all that paperwork online is in the near future for parents. 

But not for me. My youngest is a senior. This is my seventeenth--and last--first day of school. It has been a wonderful journey. But I have to say, when I put down that pen after completing that first day of school parental paperwork for the last time, I might actually achieve a cartwheel. At minimum, you will hear my shouts of joy for miles.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at)
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