One of my favorite things about Facebook is seeing all the pictures taken on the first day of school.  I know it’s a parent and grandparent thing that makes kids roll their eyes and escape to the newest social media before their parents can find it, but it’s a very special day for everyone.  Decked in new clothes from head to toe, carrying new pencils and crayons and notebooks in their backpacks, children, students march off to a new classroom, new teachers, maybe even a new school.  The first day of school marks another milestone, more challenges, and many sighs.

For the students, it’s exciting and scary all at the same time.  Will they know anybody in their classes, will they look right (even if they wear uniforms, there’s a “look” they need to have), what if they can’t find something, what if, what if?  There’s so much to take in as they learn about their new teachers, take on new subjects, take notes on new assignments.

For the parents, there are tears of pride, fears for letting their children out of their watch, knowing all that lies out there, and cheers that they have successfully helped their child grow into yet another level.  For working parents, there are sighs of relief for the regular schedule and anxiety about making all the teacher meetings and extracurricular activities.  And the anxiety for all of hoping you can keep up with the homework that seems so much more complicated than when you were in school or manage all the carpools and PTA meetings and, and, and the list goes on and on.

For grandparents, it’s sighs at the recognition of time passing all too quickly, pride in watching another generation grow up, and gratitude for being able to be a part of it all.

This year, my oldest grandson is a senior in high school and it brings tears to my eyes to realize how quickly the time has flown by.  Next year, he’ll take a major step and I know that will be the most emotional of all.  I now have five grandchildren in high school and two in middle school.

My youngest grandchild started Pre-Kindergarten.  I got to take her to her new room and meet her new teacher and watch her excitement at being in a “big kid” school, even though the chairs are small and the lockers scaled down.  It’s a new world for her.

Today, I watched the complete spectrum as I saw photos of my grandkids leaving for their first day at school, photos of my children’s friends’ children and my friends’ grandchildren.  The parents are the children I once sent off with all the same emotions they have today.  I have a grandson beginning his last year with his parents’ supervision and a granddaughter leaping with joy into the next fourteen years of school, her mother helping her figure it all out.  It’s one of those circles of life that bring it all home.

I remember my days as a parent and then I go back and remember my own days.  It brings back all the things I felt on my own first day.  I’m grateful that it just never changes.  I’m grateful for the wonderful teachers I had through the years, for the wonderful educational opportunities we have in our country, for getting all of my own children through school, and for being here to see this next generation.  The first day of school is VERY important.  Thanks for all the photos that link us together for this special occasion.Karen - 1st day of school