“Did my class list come yet?”
Like clockwork, my mother clambers for an answer to this question (or maybe plea) come this time of summer every year. It’s not the first hint of classroom nostalgia though—she’s collected kiddie table sets, kitchen play things, and even a toy house that she planted in the corner of our yard (it’s for the grandkids, Cathy—when they’re born). She even confessed the other day, while at the beach, “I’m ready for September; I’m ready for routine again.”
My mother is a devoted preschool teacher, but undoubtedly summer is her favorite season. The absence of red tape on her time gives her leisure to do what she pleases—which is a lot of reading, antique shopping, and soaking up the sun.
This past weekend, my mom shared back-to-school memories, but this time from the perspective of parent. “I would say, ‘Mike, can you come here?,’ and give him a stack of textbooks and notebooks to cover with contact paper [for all his siblings].” She recalled, “And I hated going to the auditorium for the uniform fittings!” She remembered buying tissue boxes for each of her four children to bring in for the class on the first day, and the Scholastic forms teachers gave out seemingly right away to be completed. Thoughts of bringing her brood school supply shopping threw her into a tizzy at the time.
But her biological children having grown up, it’s the kids she teaches that make her welcome the school year. It’s why she keeps an eye out on the mail, and why she keeps her class in mind on her thrift store hunts. Just like sunshine boosts her with Vitamin D, her tiny tots similarly provide her with a daily dose of joy.
Mentally preparing yourself for the school year isn’t surrendering the summer; it’s simply embracing the return of what you love.
Catherine Alvino is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Oddcast. She holds a BA in English Literature and a MBA with a concentration in Marketing. She loves to write and is proud to work for a company that adds value to learning.