Back to school no more

blogDSCN0263Autumn hasn’t flaunted its pretty self yet.  My wall calendar only turns over its leaf to September tomorrow, but there’s something in the air that conjures up the feeling of fall. And as always, I am so ready for the change of season.

Stepping outside my door, I can sense it. I can feel it. I can smell it. Fall is on its way. The days have cooled down and the nights are cooler yet.  Thankfully, a crispness in the fresh air shoved summer’s heat and humidity out of the way.

That crispness reminds me of one thing – it’s time to go back to school. Many years have passed by since I sent my last child off to his final year of college classrooms. School shopping for supplies and college dorm rooms are a thing of the past for me, and I can honestly say I don’t miss that one bit.

For over a decade, I experienced that back-to-school feeling myself when I worked for a non-profit as an education program coordinator and visited public and private school classrooms. For the last four years, I headed back to school as a private school substitute teacher.

But for the first time in oh, so many years, there won’t be that back to school feeling for me. My subbing days are limited because I’ve traded that job in for an even more important one – taking care of my granddaughter while my daughter works. And I’ve decided to join the ranks of the semi-retired.

So even though school days have become a thing of the past, I can still recall that back to school feeling quite vividly. Thinking back over my own first days of school, excitement and a bit of nervousness always was the norm.

In elementary school, I already knew who my teachers would be and who the other students were in my class, unless there was a new kid. Walking to the bus stop in the dewy morning with a nip of cold in the air, I remember shivering slightly, a little from the briskness of the morning and the topsy-turvy nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach.

By the time I reached junior and senior high school, the excitement and nervousness accelerated. There were so many things to worry about!

Awakening a good bit earlier than those leisurely summer days, I know I carefully dressed in one of my new outfits hoping to fit in with the latest styles everyone else would certainly be wearing. Hair and a smidge of makeup had to be just right as well.

Back to school then meant new class schedules, new locker assignments, new teachers, and not knowing who would be in your classes or who would have the same lunch period as you.

It meant Friday night football games cheering your school team on in the chilly night air while scoping out cute boys that you just never noticed before. It meant reuniting with friends and classmates that you may have not seen all summer.

After a hot, sluggish summer season, back to school meant the start of something new. And maybe that’s why the thought of back to school always invokes the allure of fall for me. 

When there’s a little bite of chilliness in the air, I experience renewed vigor. Somehow fall days feel cleaner, fresher, and way more invigorating than summer did.

And even though it smells like the beginning of school outside, the big yellow buses are traveling down the roadways, and social media is plastered with all of those first day of school children’s photos, my back to school thoughts are just memories now…well, at least until little sweetie gets old enough to attend school.

But I’m more than ready to meet my beloved autumn season head on. I can’t wait.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


10 responses

  1. Our baby is leaving for the Army on Tuesday morning. Then our middle daughter will be leaving fo the Air Force November 7th. Our oldest has been out of school/college for 3 years now. This year I did not miss the back to school shopping. (when is tax free weekend? who cares! I don’t have to go!) LOL! Glad I found your blog. Looking forward to browsing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always seen September (vs. January) as the true start of the ‘new year’. Twenty years of being a student, twenty plus of being a mother of school-aged children as well as a teacher (part-time, then full time) means I’ve always had that sense of anticipation and ‘newness’ every year at this time. I still find myself perusing the ‘back to school’ shelves in the stores with a bit of wistfulness (and I do occasionally pick up a pack of pencil crayons or a spiral bound notebook as a reminder of times past). It won’t be long before our granddaughters begin their September rituals (but I can wait!)

    Liked by 1 person

      • Here in Ontario, they’ve instituted full day ‘junior’ kindergarten; I can’t stand it! I didn’t even want my boys to go to half day kindergarten when they were 5; I can’t imagine leaving a 4 year old in a classroom for a full day. My son and DIL are considering NOT enrolling my granddaughter in JK (and I agree!) but waiting until she’s 5 and can cope with a whole day of ‘learning’. She IS going to preschool this year (starting in 2 weeks) for socialization and ‘playtime’ but – SIGH – they grow way too fast!!!!!!


      • Oh, I’m with you! I can’t imagine 4-yr-olds in school all day! :-O Our school district just initiated all-day kindergarten last year and I know some parents weren’t happy about that. It just seems like we push children to grow up way too quickly. Our little one is just going to go to a ‘tiny tots’ program for socialization and play. It’s just one morning a week for only 2 hours and parent/grandparent stays with them. I know she will love that.


  3. I must admit I always get a bit melancholy when this time of year rolls around. Even though it has been years since my boys were in school I always loved having them home in the summer and all of the freedom that we had. School starting meant more schedules and activities and less of them . I will always be a mama at heart. I loved this post. I could feel all of your emotions right along with you. Thanks for sharing. Have a great fall!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I was one of those moms who loved having the kids home for the summer too! You’re so right that school starting meant too many schedules especially since I had three active kids in sports and other activities, even through college. But fall will always be my favorite season despite that. 🙂


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