Kids are going back to school tomorrow. Not that I envy them having to take annoying classes like math and science or writing essays, but I always feel a bit nostalgic at this time of the year. I see the kids running to school with their new backpacks and their first day of school clothes and I get the pang.
I loved the first day of school (yes, geek central here). I love love loved getting new school supplies that smelled of fresh rubber and wood. Flipping through new notebooks that were empty and waiting to be filled with a new year of knowledge. The new backpack that was still clean and had no banana residue at the bottom. And the new lunch box. Remember in the eighties when we had those plastic dealies with pictures of our favorite TV-show characters on the front? With the Muppet babies or Barbie? On the inside our sandwiches would neatly stack and the thermos was held by a strap in the top part of the lid? Those were the days. I loved picking out a new lunch box every year. Odd for me though, I was the kid who went home for lunch.
My mother used to get so angry at me for insisting on a new eraser when I still had half of one from the previous year. Pish. New year, new eraser.
If I was ten, tonight I would have filled my backpack (after laying out all my new supplies on the dining room table the previous week for inspection), picked my 'back to school' outfit and would be lying in bed for the anticipation of a new year, new teacher and getting to see all my friends everyday.
But I am not ten, I am twenty-eight (with only a week left!) and tomorrow I have to work, pay some bills and walk my dogs. No lemon scent of school floors (that only last that first week) or choosing seats next to my best friend. No text books being given out. No new kids to scope out. No new grade to show that I am getting older and therefore better (when did we start freaking out about getting older?).
I'm also envious of the university-aged kids. When I go back to my old campus now I feel like an impostor. I walk the familiar grounds of a school that was my home for four years, but it now belongs to new students. Like being an alien or the foreign student. Oh University, how I miss watching the leaves slowly turning, scarves blowing in the wind, and feet rushing from building to building between the ten minute gap.
For heaven sakes, I still go by the school calender and I have been out of school for over five years! Then again I was in school for nearly twenty years. No wonder there is such an adjustment when we graduate.
The Engineer goes back tomorrow too. I am not in the Big Apple, otherwise I would pack him a lunch (in those new fangled un-fun lunch boxes they sell now) and walk him to school - and then promptly go shopping in Soho. Is that what mothers do when their kids go to school? Run to the mall and get pedicures? Wait a minute, I think I like the sound of this new wave of school-dom. Your kids get to go and learn all the crap they will eventually forget, leaving you for a blissful, quiet six to eight hours of nothingness. I like it!
Ahh, who am I kidding? Sign me up for an apple and get me a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. School is the best!
Happy learning kids!