Posted by: chlost | September 7, 2010

Another post on the first day of school

It is the first day of school. I don’t have any children in school now, but I still think of it as a marker in the calendar. I am sure that almost every blog will have a post about this subject as well. Here’s another one to add to the chatter.

I watched the kids across the street as they got on the bus this morning. It was raining, so there was a parent there with an umbrella waiting with them.  I am assuming-even hoping- that the parent was there because it was the first day of school, and that the parent won’t be standing out there every morning. That would just be so overprotective to be there every single morning.

On the first day of school, the kids were always very excited to start the year. We had a tradition of taking pictures of them at the front door on that first day. There were a couple of years when the picture didn’t get taken on the first day, but it was taken within the first week.  It is fun even now to look at those pictures to see how they grew over the years.

My daughter tells me now that the first day of junior high was a nightmare for her. She says that she came home that day and threw up. She had to try to find her locker at the far end of the 3rd floor of the building with 3 minutes between classes, and then couldn’t get her lock to work. The stress was too much. The kids in her class were suddenly very fashion conscious-she was not. She got A’s without really trying. She desperately wanted friends but didn’t feel comfortable with anyone in her class.  She was a reader. They were gigglers. It was the true start of a long uncomfortable wait for college.

My oldest son was comfortable in school and did well. He was voted to be in the school’s Hall of Fame for his class. He was well-liked by both the kids and the faculty. He did well in school. But he never really felt comfortable and never really realized how well-liked he was. He was in theater and was very good. But he felt bad and very self-conscious because he struggled with acne for part of his high school years, even into college. He is very handsome, and women are very interested in him.  He has only seriously dated a few women since high school, though.

Our youngest son was a social butterfly. He could charm his way into almost anything with the faculty or students. He had a group of friends who were outcasts, but he was accepted by the theater and music kids as well as the jocks. He is also very handsome, but never realized it through high school. He dated a lot through college until he fell in love at first sight with his wife. High school curriculum was a struggle for him because he never really tried very hard. He is one of the few kids I know who flunked driver’s ed.

As I watch all of the kids go off to a new school year, I look back on those years of school for our kids. I just want to tell all of the kids waiting for the bus that no matter how your year goes, it is not going to matter in just a few more years. High school is such a small part of your life. If you do well, it won’t guarantee your future as you may have been led to believe. If you don’t do well, it really doesn’t mean that you will be a failure as an adult.

Do your best, but enjoy this time. It goes so quickly.

Especially for us parents.



  1. I remember my step-daughter was traumatized by Junior High. She described the building a drab and everyone hated her.

    We went to talk to the counselor, (in the brightly painted school) only to find out that our daughter had been nominated for class president. [sigh]

    The adolescent brain really could use a tune-up at that age. Too funny.

    • Reality does seem to get clouded by hormones.

  2. Great post! I too had a nightmare first day of Junior High! It still gives me nightmares over 30 years later… I think the hazing they tolerated back in the 70’s was a lot worse than what they will allow today.

    • I hope so. We just had a football team suspended for hazing here. Cruelty is not fun.

  3. It is the first day of daycare for my two little grandsons in Tennessee but here in Cobb county, Ga. school started in mid-august. It is hard to go back to school when it is still in the mid 90s and looks like summer. In France we went to school until the end of June – we had July, Aug and Sept off and started back in October. It may have changed now as they get more time off during the year. I loved my summers off then. Of course being retired I am always “off” now!

    • There is still something about summer that makes me feel as though I should be on vacation.

  4. Yes, oh how I hated the thought of failing yet one more time. I hated any school, but most of my grandkids liked it. My kids hated it too. Learning disabilities are genetic. Darn it.

    • Learning disabilities kept my husband from enjoying shcol, too. Luckily, I don’t think our kids were deeply affected by that. I wonder if the grandkids will have any problems.

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