Outside my bedroom window, just behind the giant oak tree, I watched as children passed by on bikes with training wheels, carrying backpacks bigger than their backs. The brightness of new school clothes lit up my sidewalk. The anticipation obvious as they chattered about this thing and that. The older kids sharing solid advice to the elementary school newbies.
I don’t know if there is anything more exciting than the first day of school and a pack full of new school supplies. The other day I gave Saydee Grace, still a pre-K girl, a perfectly sharpened yellow #2 pencil with a fresh pointy eraser top.
She couldn’t contain herself.
“Look, mommy! Grammie gave me a new pencil. It’s perfect. I’m gonna take it with me!”
Chelsea looked at me and laughed, “I wish I got that damn excited about a pencil.”
I told her she did and reminded her of her very own pencil box obsession. Just then Saydee hugged her #2 and repeated, “I love my damn pencil.”
The cover up sentences that followed were unsuccessful.
“I love those dang pencils so much!”
“Hot dang! I love pencils.”
“Just stop,” I said to Chels as Saydee watched both of us, taking it all in like the sponge she is.
I changed the topic to talk about her muchilla, one of my favorite new Spanish words that means backpack.
When I think back to my girls and their new school enthusiasm, I always recall Tara’s first day of school and the outfit heard around the world. She had a fresh bob haircut, white t-shirt, and blue patterned gaucho pants. They were fantastic!
Here’s a little tip for all the new moms. Never, I mean never, ever, ever in your long legged life make your kids wear something they don’t want to wear. Especially on the first day of school.
You will hear about that misguided fashion selection every holiday, bad day or any other day when you need to the be the sole reason that life sucks.
I can still see Tara standing on the green grass outside of our failed renovation project on 33rd St., smiling for my pre-digital camera with not so much as a smile but a disgruntled smirk.
Totally I would call do-overs on that day and let her wear the outfit she wanted. It was fuzzy with pink stripes in varying shades and as I recall there was a brown vest we bought to put over the top. I thought it would be too hot.
And I’m mad about airy gaucho pants with pockets. A perfect place to put the happy face and star stickers she was certain to achieve.
His mercy is new every morning.
What misstep are you needing to forget?
It’s a new day. A fresh start. Every day can be like the first day of school if we look at it like that.
Another chance for a brand new beginning, new friends, experiences and something new to learn.
In my perfect scheduling for today, I imagined I’d get up super early, way before the school traffic started. I wanted to pray in this exciting first day, lifting up teachers and students, custodians, nurses and lunch ladies.
Four times I hit the dueling snooze buttons on my alarm and phone. I set both when it’s really important.
Tomorrow I will rise and start with a freshly sharpened #2 pencil with a really big eraser.
And this &^%# keyboard.