As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my word for the year is “First”. So since last Monday was the first day of school for many students here in Chattanooga, I thought a blog about the First Day of School was the order of the day.
I no longer have children in school, but there is something about the first day of school that evokes memories of those “good old fashion school days” and giddiness envelops me. I love walking the school supply aisles at Target and Walmart, I am a sucker for all things “school supply”. The smell of crayons and paste immediately transport me back to days gone by. Notebooks, spiral binders, folders and notebook paper at irresistible prices tempt the weak to become hoarders. Black & White Composition books are long gone and they now come in all the colors of the rainbow. #2 pencils and BIC pens are now overshadowed by a myriad of choices: disposable or refillable; roller ball, fountain, gel; fine, medium or extra fine point; and again every color of the rainbow.
Sorry, like I said I am a sucker for school supplies. But this post is not about school supplies, it’s about the thoughts of a few students and mothers in regard to the first day of school. So, lets see what they have to say.
First day of Preschool
Isabelle jumps up and down and giggles when she talks about going to K-5 this year. Her mother (Colette) said, “On the day we went to the “meet and greet” (where we met the teacher, saw the classroom, and met some of the other students), she woke up and squealed, “This is going to be the BEST DAY EVER!”
How did Isabelle’s mother feel about her first day of school? She said “I had tears in my eyes as I saw the joy on her face when she expressed her excitement about school.” Colette went on to say, “Personally, I am apprehensive. I worry. I worry that:
• I didn’t work with her enough on her numbers, letters, address, pronunciation of tough sounds, etc.
• Since she doesn’t play with other kids much, she will be hurt when they don’t play the way she directs them to, like her dad, grandparents and I do.
• With so many kids in the class, she won’t get the attention I want her to have.
• 8:15 -3:00 is such a long time, and that she will get homesick or tired.
• She will pick up bad behavior habits from kids who have different discipline standards at home than we do. I want so much for her. I want her:
• to be more patient when trying new things
• to make real friends, not just people to play with
• to remember the manners we have taught her and to show others her sweet spirit, and not have others crush it
There is one last emotion I want to share; I am going to seriously miss spending my day with my daughter. Honestly, I don’t know what I will do with my time. I have not told her this; because it has yet to occur to her that she will see me less.
First Day of Senior Year
The first day of being a senior is filled with a lot of different emotions. There is some excitement for the new adventures to come with your friends. There is sadness because the joy of the summer has come to an end. There is nervousness because you realize it is the beginning of the end. It is the last of everything you have known for the past 4 years, and it is kind of the last time to really be a kid. I have always dreaded the first day of school throughout the years, but this year was kind of different. In a way I want time to stand still today so that I can live in my last moments of being a kid just a little bit longer. I know that I have to move on eventually, but I have decided that I am not going to try and grow up so quickly and I am going to fully enjoy these last precious moments!
Senior year…. I am filled with mixed emotions. I’m excited that it’s finally here, but at the same time it’s scary. I’m sure many of my peers feel that way. It’s awesome because: I’ve worked hard for 12 years to reach this point, I am finally older than everyone else, and basically in charge of the school. Ha-ha!
Your senior year is definitely a cross road. It’s a time where you have to decide for yourself if you are going to follow God or not. (I do realize that choice must be made daily). It has been a cool time as God matures me in my thinking and in my walk with Him. Although I am nowhere near mature yet in my walk and where I want to be; but I am heading in that direction. It’s awesome to have that very intimate and personal relationship with God and it has nothing to do with my parents!
On the other hand it’s scary! I know there will be a lot of unfamiliar things come up this year and a lot of important decisions that have to be made. For the first time I’ll be the one who is totally responsible for listening to Gods directions for my future and making the decisions and not my parents. My parents are slowly letting me become more independent in my decision making while still offering a safety net if needed.
Have I mentioned that the thought of growing up kinda freaks me out? I remember when I was five years old walking in my neighborhood with my daddy after a big storm. At the time my only concern was looking for puddles big enough to splash in! Today I have much more to be concerned about, the decisions I make will affect the rest of my life!
I am beginning to realize, that all of these things are a normal part of growing up. I’m sure my Senior year will be a great experience, as well as a great time to grow up, mature and become the young woman God wants me to be.
The beginning of school this year began a series of “lasts” for us. We:
- Attended our last orientation at Grace.
- Picked up the last school supply list.
- Pre-ordered her last year book.
- Paid her last bill at Chattanooga State as a dual-enrollment student.
- Planned the classes for her last semester as a high school student with her guidance counselor.
- Know that every event we attend (Homecoming game, Christmas concert, Spring concert, etc…) will all be our last with a Grace student in our family.
It also began a series of firsts:
- Planning our first college visits. •
- Buying our first parking spot for Stephanie at school •
- Driving our two neighbor kids to school for the first time
- Making her first plans to get a job so that she can start buying some of the things that she will need as a young adult
- Telling us for the first time she believes that she wants to work with pre-school aged children.
- Verbalizing for the first time her ideas about maybe not going to college right immediate, but spending 6-12 months working with missionary friends after high school graduation.
This is clearly a new chapter for all of us, and it’s exciting to watch Stephanie mature in her walk with Christ and to be passionate about following Him. It’s no longer her just tagging along with mommy and daddy, but her own desire for an intimate relationship.
These days are a little scary but more than that they are exciting! I’m sure that I will shed tears this year as I think about all the “lasts” but I’m confident that I will shed more as I think with a deep sense of gratitude, how God has allowed us to be part of Stephanie’s upbringing and development. Exciting days are ahead!
Lori and Stephanie Overcash
As I heard from both students and mothers I found the similarities between going to school for the first time and going the first day for the last time.
- Both sides of the education journey were very emotional for both the parent and the student.
- Mom’s are concerned whether their child is starting kindergarten or college.
- Tears are shed by both students and their mothers.
Question: What is your “First Day of School” story? Leave a comment – we would love to hear it.