Yesterday I was reminiscing about first days of school.
'Twas the night before school...and all through our house, the children were squealing, excited as a mouse. Otto and Andy, my 3rd graders, were like vultures in confinement with fresh road kill in the area. They couldn't wait for school. They packed and re-packed their backpacks, compared mechanical pencils, laid out their new duds and kept asking every 10 minutes if it was time for bed.
Did you catch that? Just for dramatic effect, let me repeat: 8 year olds ASKING for bedtime! Their anxious anticipation carried through to the big 'have a great day' send-off!
About 2:45 pm I kept watch out my big picture window for the munchkins to come whistling down the street with backpacks bouncing. Pretty soon...somebody materialized. I thought it was the buddy boys except these children were dragging. Poor pathetic sad little children. When they got closer, I saw it was MY boys! And they were moping. Seriously moping. They came in, plopped down on the couch and stared straight ahead. They didn't even ask for a snack. That is how serious this was.
Oh dear, I thought. Had they been beaten? Had all their friends moved in a mass exodus? I knew I wasn't their teacher...so that wasn't the problem.
"Well...." I anxiously asked. "How was it?"
Landon, allowing his pupils to flicker from his glassy eyed glaze, turned to me and with strong conviction said, "it was like this....
Rules, rules, rules, recess. Rules, rules, rules, lunch. Rules, rules, rules, recess. Rules, rules, rules, home."
Aaahhh.....it was the old high-expectations-falling-short syndrome.
Fast forward 7 years. Aug. 13, 2009. THIS first day of school was different. The palpable excitement of yesteryear was gone. The lure of summer was still exerting great gravitational pull. Paradoxically, low anticipation compounded with low expectations yielded higher returns. The teens bounded in the door with their characteristic energy and said, "high school is cool....it's going to be a fun year!"
Wait a minute. REWIND. Just for dramatic empahsis, let me repeat. Teen-agers...teen-age BOYS no less...excited about school! Thank you Hurricane High!