A Back-to-School Benediction

August 14th, 2016

I love the start of a new school year. The crisp bite to the air, the hint of fall in the leaves. Oh, wait. That was when I lived in the Midwest. Back-to-school season is much hotter and stickier here in the south. But despite the ridiculous humidity, a new school year always carries the promise of new adventures and new friends and new discoveries. Not to mention new school supplies.

Oh, the school supplies. Is there anything on earth more beautiful than rows of crisp notebooks, pyramids of markers, and bins full of #2 pencils? And big fat pink erasers. Let’s not forget the erasers. I always want to bite them, but the folks at Walmart seem to frown upon that some reason.

As my kids start another school year – second grade, first grade, and preschool – I have some words for them. A back-to-school benediction.

For my firstborn daughter: keep climbing. Your excitement about school warms my nerdy heart and your skills amaze me daily. I was no slouch in the halls of academia but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t doing long division in the first grade. What will you conquer this year? Probably the whole darned world if you put your mind to it. Fly high, my love, and never doubt your wings. You’re smart. And smart is awesome so never let anyone tell you otherwise.

For my son: yes, you can. I know you’re nervous about first grade and I understand. You’ve got a tough act to follow and I see you measuring your successes against your older sister’s. Don’t try to be her. Be you, because you’re fabulous. Trust yourself and your instincts because they’re good and gentle and kind. Yes, really. Even when you’re doing your best to imitate a carnivorous space alien. I see right through you, sir. You’ve got this.  Also, that bright-red mohawk you’ve got? You rock it. Good choice.

For my baby: go get ‘em, girl. You’re barreling into school full-steam and fearless and I love that about you. I’ve already warned your teachers to buckle their seat belts and hide the scissors because you, my dear, are a wild ride. You are playful and stubborn, volatile but sweet. You keep me on my toes and that’s a good thing. Have a fabulous first year of preschool and don’t stick your pencil up your nose. Don’t try to look innocent. I know you.

This a new year for us all in so many ways. Are you ready? You look ready. Let’s do this!

One response to “A Back-to-School Benediction”

  1. Jim Lockard says:

    Not sure why this just turned up in my inbox, but it’s wonderful, as always.

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