I smell….school!

blogDSCN0263There!  That’s it!  Did you catch a whiff of that?  I definitely smell school, do you?

The other morning, I awakened and took a nice deep breath while I lazily stretched in bed.  And that’s when I caught a whiff of the air circulating in and out of our bedroom via the open windows.  It smelled like school.

I can’t really describe it with words, but there’s a distinct smell in the early morning air this time of year.   The days are still warmed by the sunshine, but the nights commence their descent into cooler temperatures.  I’m certain there must be a scientific reason for what transpires but I don’t know what it is.  All I know is that fragrance in the air reminds me of going back to school.

Even though it’s been decades since I jumped on a school bus or packed up my belongings for dorm life, that smell transports me back in time to the first few days of a new school year.   I can vividly recall standing outside my house, shivering a bit in the cool, morning air, excited and yet a little nervous, waiting for the school bus to arrive on the first day back to school.  Yep, the scent in the air reminds me of crisp recently purchased school clothes, clean white tennis shoes, freshly sharpened pencils, and pristine notebooks with no doodles defacing them.

This time of year, stores tout their back-to-school sales and the aisles overflow with everything you ever wanted to start a new school year with and more.  At the discount store, I maneuver past mothers with children in tow loading up their shopping carts with packs of crayons, glue, rulers, markers, and backpacks.   College aged students heap all those dorm necessities into their carts.  A walk in the mall reveals families purchasing school clothes and the shoe stores swarm with children trying on shoes.   I notice school buses timing their practice runs.

My nose is right.  It’s time to go back to school.   Gone are the days when my children and I piled in the car, school supply lists in hand, to begin the annual ritual of back to school shopping.   The arrival of a new school year generated excitement with transitions from elementary to middle to high school to college, another season of sports practices and games, different schedules to learn, and new teachers to meet.

After a summer of leisure and relaxation, the smell of fall in the air meant the hustle and bustle of a new school year was about to descend and we had to get ready! But now at Mama’s Empty Nest, the scent of school in the air just ushers in a new season.  I can sit on my front porch swing in the warmth of the afternoon, watch the school buses drive by, hear the chatter of students on the bus, and reminisce about those days of putting my own children on the big yellow bus for another year of learning.

It’s my second year of not sending someone back to school, and in Chapter 8, Page 22, of my book of Opportunity, I can honestly say I’ve made peace with that.  No marathon shopping excursions, no frantic run to Wal-Mart in college town because we forgot this, that, or the other thing.  I find extending summer relaxation into this back to school season enjoyable, but the best part of all is my check book is a lot healthier too!

© 2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

10 responses

  1. The end of August always brings a mix of emotions for me. While I do enjoy the transition back to the structure school encourages, I also wish for the leisurely pace of summer to linger. In fact, as I type this, I am still in my pajamas enjoying my morning coffee.


  2. Yes, I can smell school right around the corner. And the sound of school buses crossing down our street early in the morning and then again, in the afternoon. You can hear their engines as they roll and the loud hissing as they apply their brakes chased by a loud squeak.
    Went back to inservice with my colleagues last night as we prepare for another semester. My posts may now become limited to once a week as they were last school year and I will try to keep up with my reading.


  3. There is something wonderful about September, school supplies and renewed vigor. But there is a sweet side to just sitting and watching the rest of the world go mad, and feeling thankful you’ve passed that hurdle. You know what that means? More time to blog! 🙂


  4. Unbelievable, tomorrow is the last day prior to kindergarden for our next set of grandchildren. Hannah is excited to be riding on that big yellow bus. Alex will still be driven this year to pre-school & will miss ‘sister’ when he is at the sitters without her. They will be spending the night with Gram & Pappy so their last day of summer will be remembered with lots of fun things going on.


  5. Fall and school bring a sense of organization and stability to the rest of the world. I smelled it this morning too. I love the summer but sometimes it feels like a disorganized hot mess of everything.

    A co-worker of mine just sent her twin girls to first grade today. She was late for work and had a tear in her eye. It’s been 14 years since I was in those shoes. My baby comes home from Spain today and then we need to rest her up, re-group and get her back to college by the end of the week. My how life flies by.


    • Oh, I agree that summer is a ‘hot mess of everything!’ I liked the way you put that. Sending those little ones to school for the first time is quite the milestone. I remember those days all too well. I’m excited for you to welcome your daughter back home, even though she will be turning right around and leaving again. Enjoy your time together no matter how fleeting.


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