Back to school then and now

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The thrill is gone at the start of the year with older kids, now

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

UTKellyRev2ColumnBACK TO SCHOOL: THEN (meaning 5 years ago) vs. NOW

THEN-

  • Brand new backpack (ordered WEEKS in advance) with coordinating lunchbox (and superhero thermos) containing things like carrot sticks, goldfish crackers and a love note from Mommy!

NOW-

  • Backpack from last year (ripped and tattered. Who cares?!)  SuperFresh plastic bag containing a sandwich (HOPEFULLY).  NO added note.  (Eye roll)

THEN-

  • Sharpened pencils, colored markers, tape, glue, stickers, tissues, crayons, book covers

NOW-

  • Phone, maybe a random pencil nub (it’s FINE, Mom!)

THEN-

  • GAP khaki cargo shorts, polo shirt with prep school emblem, squeaky clean sneakers, fresh haircut, twelve hours of sleep

NOW-

  • Basketball shorts (grass stained from summer games of “touch” football in the yard), black knee socks and slides (still can’t wrap my brain around this one), t-shirt from summer camp, maybe seven hours of shut eye (after all, six in the morning has been the middle of the night for two and a half months)

THEN-

  • Thrilled to ride the bus and even more excited to come home and relay the events of the day over a snack

NOW-

  • General lack of enthusiasm for the early start.  After school prompting of first impression usually resulting in “fine, boring, nothing, OK”

Oh, how I miss the exhilaration of those elementary years!  I do not miss the additional paperwork of the lower grades, however.  How many “Emergency Contact” forms does one district need for heaven’s sake?  Don’t they know us by now?

To be honest, this summer felt particularly fast and I am not ready for the school year to begin quite yet.  But, come hell or high water, Monday is happening.  Do not forget to set the alarm clock and have clothes laid out and lunches packed to ease the transition.  Too neurotic?  Maybe so, but every bit of organization helps!

Happy LAST day of summer break!  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

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