Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Does anyone remember seeing the stationary-store commercial? -- parents smiling and laughing and dancing through the store hallways, filling their cart with paper and binders and pencils and pens -- as the Christmas song plays. Then they focus on a little boy and a little girl - frowning.

1998: Jennifer and Catherine - posing for annual "First Day of School" photo - which I have taken every year on the steps of our home for the past 13 years. (Catherine is a senior this year)

Both of my girls were very excited about going back to school and seeing all of their friends. I am lucky my children love school as much as I did. Of course, both of my high school girls are involved in band, sports and service clubs - and both both are honor students and have been inducted into the National Honor Roll Hall in Washington D.C.

School started today. It seems as if each year it starts earlier in the year. Whatever happened to school starting the day after Labor Day?

After the traditional "Stand in front of the house" back to school photograph - which I've been taking since kindergarten, the girls were off to school -- they start at 7 a.m. and do not return until almost 6 p.m. -- Very long days for them.

And - being the studious kids that they are -- they had plenty of homework on day one! And so did I! It took me more than an hour to sign dozens of "contract" forms from each classroom. It took another hour to fill my calendar with their tennis matches, band practices, band reviews, band Disneyland and San Diego trips, etc. etc.

How do they do it? I browsed through the tennis calendar -- there are 23 matches, starting next week through October 24! Including Sept. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, skip a Sunday, again Monday. Skip a Tuesday, again Wednesday, skip Thursday, and again on Sept. 14, 15, 17...... the list went on and on. I was exhausted by the time I finished jotting down everything.

I also noticed they have band practice every Tuesday night.

"Can you girls handle all this?" I asked. They looked at me as if there was something wrong with me.

Later, Catherine, a senior, was at the kitchen nook table.

"Oh! I love this! I actually understand it all," she said as she worked on her AP calculus. I looked at it. Looked foreign to me.

"I've joined the math club," she said nonchalantly and then sighed, "I guess that means I have meetings every day at lunch."

Math club meets Tuesdays at lunch, Wednesdays is Key Club, Thursdays is Future Business Leaders, and Link Crew meets as needed on rotating days.

At the dining room table, Jennifer worked on her homework and talked excitedly about biology and other courses.

I smiled. Inside I was beaming. These are my babies. I am so blessed.

I love Back To School time.

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