Today was the first day of school in my former district. My friends all gathered for long, most likely boring meetings and discussions. A big room full of adults, talking about teaching.
I hate to be left out, but I was delighted NOT to be in that big room with the AC on high and the meeting packets on the tables and the latest mandates under discussion.
As it turns out, I was at home, surrounded by a group of wonderful teaching friends who are no longer teaching. There were fellow retirees, a teacher on maternity leave, a teacher who has stayed home to be with her kids, and my own daughter at the start of her own maternity break. We had good food, a lot of laughs, prosecco with sherbet, a little gossip.
I wasn’t too sad to be away from school today.
But on Wednesday, the kids will come back to school. The kids, wearing their new sneakers and their nervous smiles. The kids will come into the classrooms, where they’ll be greeted by their teachers and introduced to their new classmates. The new fifth grade families will be created, and I will not be there.
On Wednesday, I’ll be sad. I’ll be thinking of the kids I will never know. The kids I could have loved and supported. I’ll be feeling a little bit lost on Wednesday, knowing that no children will be rushing in their front doors to yell, “Hey, Mom! She’s NICE!”
But I will be OK on Wednesday, even without a new group of children at my feet. I’ll be OK because my son, my youngest child, will come home to spend a day at the beach with his Momma.
He tells me that he just loves the beach, and that he can’t wait to swim and hang out on the sand. But the truth? The truth, I’m pretty sure, is that this smart young man knows that his Momma is going to need a good distraction on the first “real” day of school.
So we’ll have our iced coffees, and we’ll pack the car and drive to the beach. We’ll jump in the water, walk along the shore, find some pretty shells. We’ll eat our sandwiches and our chips and we’ll probably stop for ice cream on the way back home. And I’ll be distracted and entertained. And I won’t be sad that I’m not at school on the first day, holding up the first “read aloud” book of the year.