We were all up early to catch the school bus this first day of school. The bags were all neatly packed yesterday, names marked on binders and supplies, lunches made, and clothes picked out. Anna was excited, Erik accepting, Grace ungracious about the beginning of a new year, but they were all up and ready to go well before 7:25, and I think they’re secretly pleased to be heading back to their respective grades (2, 3 and Senior K) after a summer of fun and freedom. And as they planned and organized for this morning, I hid a few smiles. They each wanted things to be perfect in their own way for their first day back, and I had to remind myself that this is a big deal for them. A new year. New teachers. New opportunities.
With everything ready I went to bed reasonably early – and found myself unable to sleep. Not so much due to excitement, though I was excited for them. But the first day of school is a big deal for parents too. We want everything to go well – the year ahead will change and grow our children in so many ways, and some of it will be beyond our control. And so we focus on what is in our control – we buy the duo-tangs in trendy colours, splurge on that great outfit, and pack their favourite lunch for the first day back. In short, we do all that we can to make their first day perfect.
And on this last evening, with everything done that can be done, we lie awake hovering at the door of opportunity, knowing that tomorrow anything is possible.