According to Facebook, we are now entering the most wonderful time of the year. The “first day of school” season has started.
Soon, the entire social platform will be virtually overrun with endless photos featuring the hottest trends in back-to-school fashion, unstained and firmly pressed beneath the forced smiles of freshly scrubbed children. Next up: Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
The parents, however, are not forcing anything. The reaction shots of ecstatic moms and triumphant dads celebrating the return of academia are becoming increasingly popular. School is back from summer vacation, and the carpool is a small price to pay for the end of long, hot days with the kids at home, presumably whining their constant wants for attention, food or water.
Frankly, I’m against it.
It’s not that I have issues with school, quite the contrary. I’m a fan of the public school system and those who dedicate so much to it. Knowledge is everything, schoolyard or otherwise. But school means early mornings and busy nights, a rigid schedule after two months spent roaming free. It is the return of homework, extracurricular practices and the long drives between.
Honestly, I’m not ready for summer to end. Just two weeks ago we were sitting on an island drinking something with mango in it — granted, it was work (I was covering a family cruise package for another website), but there were perks. And now? Now I’m packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
This was the first year that we didn’t do any back-to-school shopping, other than some shoes and a backpack out of necessity. The boys didn’t want anything and they certainly didn’t need it. Besides, staying away from school supplies meant we could hold on to summer just a little bit longer. In theory.
We have been here before.
The photo above was the first day of school two years ago, and it is the first day of school every year. They don’t want to go back, and I want to hold on forever.
Next week the stores will have replaced pencils and paper with all the trimmings of Halloween. It will be 100 degrees outside, and we’re supposed to act like it is autumn. I’m not falling for that.
Summer is too lazy to end so quickly, but it does, like all things. It will end again this time next year, and, hopefully, another after that. It will keep stretching and ending, an oasis of sweat and smiles, long past the school bells and the echo of their ringing.
I’ll be there making sandwiches, and watching the shadows grow.
First day of school photos by Whit Honea