Stay alert! Watch the crosswalks! Yes, school has started again, and parents everywhere are rejoicing. For kids, the boredom and long coronavirus closures have ended, to be joyfully replaced by the hectic schedules, homework and neverending list of school supplies to buy. Kids are trying to get back in the groove, only to be faced with the reality that they have to get up early and suddenly become organized.
We may still be in the clutches of summer, but vacations have officially come to a screeching halt. Those little yellow school buses are making frequent stops and school zone crosswalks are filled with giggling kids, so it’s time to drive slowly and enjoy the scenery. Parents everywhere can be seen taking a collective sigh of relief, kids are happy to show off their new clothes, and teachers are excited to be back to in-person teaching.
Many parents are stressed drivers right now. Have you had the pleasure of dropping off or picking up a child lately? It is not easy! Hundreds of cars jockeying for position, causing one mom to say, “I commuted in Los Angeles traffic for years, but picking my daughter up at high school in a small town in Arizona is frightening!”
My granddaughter started kindergarten. On her first day, she complained that “they don’t give you enough time to eat lunch” and that her teacher kept telling her to “quit talking.” Worse, at the end of the day, when the bus driver drove past her house to the stop at the end of her street, she screamed, “Stop, you don’t know where you are going!” After a rough day, she ran off the bus and told her mom, “The only good thing is that I will never have another first day of school in my life.” Yes, very true. Hang in there, honey. It gets better.
My friend’s teenage daughter woke up the first day of school and screamed when she looked in the mirror. Somehow, in the middle of the night, several evil pimples sprouted, causing a whole lot of drama and a near refusal to attend the first day of high school. Her solution? She wore a mask. Yes, going to school isn’t without quite a few challenges. It takes considerable courage to get up, walk into a new school with a stuffed backpack, while feeling miserably self-conscious.
Teachers can be heroes. Every day they strive to give our children a spark of interest that will make them actually want to embrace the formulas of algebra or to find happiness in the pages of a book. Teachers know that among the masses of children they inspire each day might be standing the next great inventor, future president, or scientist who will help save the planet.
Know a parent with school-age children? Give them an extra nod of approval, because they need all the help they can get! Dear readers, drive slowly around those school zones and be careful. School bells are ringing. Want to see into the future? You can! Just pause and look at those kids in the crosswalks.