Today was the first day of school in my area, and boy don’t we just love these back-to-school days with all the hustle and bustle they bring us!
Traffic jams, crowded sidewalks, delightful school busses, colorful bikes (and their tiny bells), some uniforms here, some fashion statements there, kids laughing, others crying, smiley faces, teary eyes… a very interesting mixture of emotions this day, not only on children’s faces, but also on those of parents.
Like children, you’d see parents who are having a hard time letting go of their little ones _or not so little ones_ on the first day of school. Parents who are already exhausted from a long summer vacation and wish they could still get a couple more weeks to relax and do all the things they wanted to do with their kids but couldn’t for one reason or the other.
Parents who didn’t get enough of their kids, who miss them even before they went to school, who feel guilty for waking them up from their deep sleep and dragging them to a place away from home.
And the other parents, the joyous and excited parents. Parents who were waiting for this day since June, parents, who, as much as they love their kids, have just had it with vacation and all its stress and drama. Parents who need school more than anything, who thank God for the teaching profession… parents who can’t hide their happy smiles and cheerful energy, because, today is, all about them.
Today they get to forget about everything, for a few hours, and focus on themselves. Today they get to sip coffee in a café, the grown-up style: scream-free, whining-free, and mess-free.
They could go for a walk WHENEVER they want to, or maybe run their butts off like there’s no tomorrow. They could relax and watch a grownup movie without worrying about language, violence or anything else. Today they could sleep in, for as long as they want, and everything can just wait. They can go shopping in peace, they can grab a bite like an adult, they can listen to whatever they want, they can surf the internet for hours and hours, they can finally go to work not worrying where their kids will be and how they’ll spend their time.
It doesn’t matter whether the parent is working or not, the back- to- school day is very special to every parent, they feel like someone has taken a really huge burden off their shoulders, they feel, how do I put it? …light and free.
Every year, I make sure to drop off my son to school the first day, although he takes the bus to school, just like my parents used to do every single year with all five of us, and there are many parents who do the same with their kids every year.
Today though, I couldn’t but notice that unlike other years, the happy parents were an overwhelming number, and to be honest, I enjoyed watching every single one of them. They were everywhere. After finding their kids’ classes, these parents made sure to document the big day with a picture of their kids in the class lineup (which was most likely uploaded to multiple social media networks), kissed them goodbye, and jogged, yes, jogged out of school before the class was even dismissed. The look on most parents’ faces as they were leaving the school was just priceless.
There were these two dads in particular that made me, and many others, laugh like crazy, their reaction was hilarious. One was walking towards his car that was parked next to mine, apparently a working dad, judging from his suit and laptop case, which means, that he’s most probably heading to work, not to some fun place where he can enjoy being child-free, but still, once he stepped into his car, he checked his hair in the rear mirror, put on his seat-belt, turned on the radio -on a really high volume-, rolled his window down, and screamed: “yo hoo!” at the top of his lungs, while driving away.
The other dad, was walking in front of me on his way to the bike parking racks, and I don’t know if he was a stay-at -home – dad, or a work-from-home-dad, or about-to-go-to-work-dad, no idea, he was wearing a t-shirt, shorts and slippers, he apparently came with his kids on their bikes, he was humming some song, dancing to the beat in his head, got on his bike, got a really deep breath, looked at us all and said: “is it me? or is today… (now he shouts) friggin’ AWESOME!” and he disappeared into the woods, just like that.
These people and their pure joyful -and justifiable- selfish excitement made my day. My day, which, unlike many other parents, will not be that different, because with my eldest going to school, I still wont have the freedom to spend my time the way I wish, since I have the neediest creature there is to share the house with: my toddler 😀 yep, I’m proudly struggling to manage house chores, raise a toddler, work from home, develop my skills and maintain what’s left of my sanity; but I can’t complain really, I thank God that I’m lucky enough to be worrying about just that and nothing else of what other parents in many less-fortunate parts of the world have to deal with.
May every child have the blessing of health, a family, a safe environment and a right to education.
And parents, enjoy the school year as it lasts 😉