By Jamie Rieger
Seeing all the young people heading to school this week, some for the very first time, brought back my memories of that special, yet dreaded first day of school.
It was always a mixed bag of emotions for me; sad because summer vacation and all the fun camping and hanging out with friends was coming to an end and my days would again be spent stuck at a desk learning, learning, and more learning. Not to mention homework.
The first day back to school was also an exciting time as we were all anxious to find out who would be in our homeroom classes and hoping we would be in the same class as our friends. Some years, it worked out pretty well; other times, not so much.
There was also that ‘fresh, new’ smell of the school on the first day, kind of like how appealing the smell of a new vehicle is to adults.
It was always fun going shopping before the start of school with my parents and four siblings for back-to-school clothes, new runners for gym class, and all the supplies we would need for the year.
Mom would carefully bring our supply lists with and check off each item of each list as it was added to the pile of stuff in the shopping cart. Us kids didn’t mind this shopping outing, but I doubt our parents enjoyed it as much as we did.
There was also the delight in having these new, unmarked school supplies, soon to be scribbled up by note-taking and doodling.
Last week, as I watched some young people heading to school with their back packs, looking all spiffy with their hair neatly coifed, smiling and chatting with their friends, I wondered if their parents had as hard of a time getting their children indoors to have a bath the previous night. If I remember correctly, my siblings and I always wanted to enjoy our last day of summer holidays for as long as we could and mom had to holler at us a few times before we would begrudgingly go inside to get ready for the next day.
By now, the elementary students have likely had their share of smelling new paper and white glue, the junior high students have laced up their gym shoes a few times, and the high school students are well on their way to filling their notebooks with all kinds of information they will need for their first pop quiz of the school year. Hopefully, they are lucky enough to have their best friend sitting across the aisle from them and they aren’t being seated alphabetically and stuck at the back of the room.