Some of you are finding it hard to accept that school is about to start. You still need to buy notebooks, binders, loose-leaf paper, #2 pencils, blue as well as black pens, folders, zipper pockets, broad tip highlighters, and school clothes two sizes larger than last year for your children's return to academia.
A few parents are looking for excuses to sneak into their child's new middle school. For the first time you will see cheerleaders, lockers, and students six inches taller than you are in your child's school.
Some of you are looking forward to asking your six-year-old how her first day went, but you can guess how the initial conversations will go:
"How was your first day in the first grade?"
"How do you like your teacher?"
"Did you make any friends?"
"I don't know."
You will be tenacious and beg for details until your child finally gives you information just to end the conversation. Elementary school students generally like their teachers and appreciate whatever passes for physical education. Middle schoolers generally decline to talk about their teachers and are disgusted by whatever passes for physical education.
Helicopter parents will help fill out forms with questions like "What do you like to be called?" and "What do you hope to accomplish this year?" The English teacher may send home a note that says, "If your parents object to the content of one of the assigned novels they can call the teacher and request a book that may be less offensive." This will make the novels seem ten times as interesting as they otherwise would have.
Beginning band students will be frustrated with how long it is before they actually get to play the saxophone.
Good parents will find themselves saying "ah, beh, say, cheh, deh, eh, efe" for the first time since freshman Spanish. While trying to remember your muey poco Espanol, you will have a surprising thought: "I could learn Spanish. I'm not too old."
When you are playing with the buttons on your son's saxophone, which probably aren't called buttons, you will think: "I could take lessons. I always wanted to play an instrument."
Do you remember the emotions of a first day at school, the feeling of walking into a strange cafeteria looking for a friendly face, or of having to answer questions like, "What do you hope to accomplish this year?"
Hopefully we never outgrow the feeling of newness, the wonderful way that a new notebook with all those blank pages to be filled feels in your hands.
Christians believe in perpetual beginnings. We need to stay young at heart because we always have new notebooks to be filled, languages to be learned, books to be read, teachers to be heard, friends to be made, and music to be played.