I know in many parts of America school has been in session for several weeks now, but here in the Northeast, Labor Day weekend ending has always meant one thing:
School starts! Or, as I used to say as a kid, “Ugh, school is starting ALREADY???”
Yep, it’s that time again, the annual rite of passage for youngsters to put away their summer clothes and sand toys, strap on that backpack, and race off to catch the bus before it leaves.
This year in our house, the start of the new school year has bigger and more special meaning than ever before, because our oldest starts kindergarten this year.
That’s right, the kid who was just born, like, a month ago is turning five next week, and so tomorrow he gets on a big-boy bus and goes to big-boy school, and Daddy will probably big-boy cry at such an occasion (more on this 5-year-old coming in my letter to him, next Friday).
Yes, today will be an emotional day for me much more than him, but for kindergarteners and their parents everywhere, it’s a pretty big day.
A wonderful rite of passage, a necessary one, but also one that definitely for me is like a line of demarcation: One part of childhood is definitely over. Now we’re in a new stage, and it’s a little scary.
I hope all 5-year-olds and soon to be 5-year-olds like my son Nate have a wonderful first day, and a great first year.
And please, if there are any 5-year-olds reading this (and I’m huge in that demographic): When you get on the bus, do your parents a favor and look back and wave, will ya? We still want to believe you’ll always be little, and will always wave to us.
**OK, so this whole first day of school thing had me thinking of one of my all-time favorite videos I’ve ever posted on here, from 2017. A Seattle man named Kevin Scruggs has two teenage daughters, and about 12 years ago he had an idea: He interviewed them on the first day of school, every year, and filmed their thoughts. Then, with oldest daughter MacKenzie graduating high school this year, he spliced the video together, and gives us three minutes of tearduct-activating beauty.
This is just… sensational. And moving.
**Finally today, a very funny example of a parent trying everything to communicate to their kids the importance of emptying their bladder before a road trip.
In New Hampshire, there was some controversy recently when a woman named Wendy Auger got a letter telling her her personalized license plate had to be recalled.
This is what it said:
It’s a long story, but there was a court case a few years ago that changed the rules for what could be referred to on personalized plates, and bodily functions was deemed to be against the rules.
I think it’s hilarious, as I think most people would. What parent hasn’t told their kid to go to the bathroom before leaving on a long trip, then 20 minutes later, miles from a rest stop or exit, a little voice from the back of the car whines “I gotta go potty!”
And happily, Wendy found an ally in New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu, who has talked to the DMV on her behalf, and she’ll be allowed to keep her plate.
Good job, gov. And please, pee before you go.