giving thanks for back to schoolEvery August, my family gets caught up in a swirl of emotion about a new school year. The end of the summer is bad enough news, shattering our hope for more lazy sunny days by the beach, our love for relaxing on a chair with a favorite book, and the freedom from the simplicity of grilled dinners.  We would like to stay in an endless summer, savoring every waking moment, far away from overthinking the first week of the new school year.

Slowly, we have internalized the meaning of back-to-school. The marketing holiday and free tax week means shopping for new stuff because “wear and tear” can’t adequately describe the abuse that my kids’ lunchboxes and backpacks suffer every year.  Never mind that is also a reminder to check on how much they grew so I don’t send them to school with ¾ sleeve rain coats or too tight gym shoes. As my kids get older, back to school is the time for catching up with the recommended reading list, sports tryouts, and friends coming back from vacation. Comparing summer experiences to whatever trend or standard; reflecting on the many achievements, or how much my kids got away with while they were away from school can easily turn into stress. If the anticipation and emotional swirl grows large, we would fight it back, often bringing turbulence to the last summer weeks.giving thanks for kid support

Gradually we find our strength and energy to look forward to the new academic year and to love school again. Eventually, we manage to realize how a new school year makes things better. Every September we have a chance to renew our appreciation for what we have, what we want to accomplish, and what we have yet to learn.