By the time you read this, most of the kids will have started back to school here in town. They’ll have had the big open house for the parents to check things out and meet the teachers, and then a half a day on Friday.
A common joke I hear is when you ask the kids if they’re glad summer’s over and they have to go back to school, they say “no.” If you ask the parents, they say “absolutely! They’ve been in the house long enough.” But almost every kid I ask is actually pretty glad to get started back in school.
I think part of it has to do with going back and seeing their friends, and part of it has to do with getting to learn something new. Think about it. There’s great status in being a grade higher. It’s something to take pride in. As one of my grand-daughters put it, “I’m a third grader now!”
For those kids that are actually switching schools, like from Memorial to Wentz, or Mayo to the high school, it’s an even bigger deal. While they might be a little nervous about things, it’s an exciting time in their lives. Sure, after a couple months, the newness wears off, and it becomes routine. After a couple years, it might even become a little ho-hum.
But there’s always the next year to get their adrenaline pumping again. Some kids actually love the learning, and just want to know more. Others look forward to the chance to play their favorite sport. Some kids just like the social part of things, although not everyone’s going to “fit in.”
Those few that don’t will have a harder time of it, but hopefully, will come out alright too. I happened to be in that particular group, but things worked out over time. The things I seem to remember most, though, are the excitement of starting something new and different.
The anticipation of having another chance to jump in and get it right. And the hope that we can be part of something big; something important. We all did it back then, year after year, as far as we could take it. But somehow, we’ve moved past it into a life that’s more, well, routine.
We don’t often challenge ourselves with anything new, and it’s often tough to get excited about anything. But what if we could figure out how to recapture that spirit.
What if we could get excited about something again. How would that revitalize our lives, our jobs, our relationships? To live each day like it was our first day back in school? Wouldn’t that be something?
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