The Calm Before The Storm

Posted: September 5, 2016 in Humour
Tags: , , , , ,

adam     Even now, at 52, I feel the butterflies in my stomach on Labour Day. That feeling of being anxious, melancholic, nostalgic, happy, and sad….all in one mish-mash of emotion. It’s the day before school starts, and it is like the world has paused, but for a brief moment, to allow us to collectively put our feet in the chocks, get into position, and await the starting gun of life.

My wife is a teacher, so no matter how old my kids get, that feeling will always be there. Our youngest starts University tomorrow, and he is experiencing his own rush of feelings. To be honest, I hope I never lose this feeling. We are synched to the cadence of life, and it is good.

In a very real way, the start of the school year is, to me, the real New Year’s Day. It’s the time when all the young ones get on the bus, or walk, or car pool their way to their respective educational facilities, to greet old friends and make new ones. To play and learn and laugh and cry. It’s a time for young adults to step things up, to grow up and learn and attain skills that will hopefully propel them on a journey of enlightenment and eventually employment. Those of us not going to school still must amend our habits, driving more carefully, especially around schools, watching for school buses (Remember Adam!!), and seeing empty places that were full, and full places which were empty and dormant for two months or so.

It’s a time for some parents to breathe a sigh of relief as their children are handed off for the day when otherwise they would be home and require care. Or for less daycare. It’s a time for lunches and school supplies, pack sacks and new clothes. It’s a time for some grandparents to step it up and bring their little ones to school while their own children are off to work or whatever other commitment they have. It’s a time for pets to readjust to the reality that they don’t have the same companions during the day, which we seem to forget.

Educators and school workers have been preparing already, yet tomorrow it all becomes real, official. They show up and are responsible, not only for the education of our children, but also for their safety and well-being. It’s a huge responsibility, one which earns them my respect and admiration because I know I could not do it. It’s the time when there are late evenings of work and preps, of worrying about certain students, and trying to put together the jigsaw puzzles of a class, to make them fit just so. Complain all you want about them…..most people I know have been most affected in their lives by excellent educators and mentors. We remember the good ones, and are changed by the great ones, of which there are many.

After a week or so, when things slip more smoothly into the groove of life, we move more solidly forward. Those educators in retirement move past the pause which they will always feel and return to their well-earned repose. Those of us working other careers, whatever they may be, pretty much become oblivious to the sensation that life just hit a speed bump….at least until the next cycle of summer vacation.

Enjoy. Be safe. Watch for the school buses. Be kind. Be patient. Celebrate how fortunate we are to provide a safe education for our loved ones. And let’s pray that our children are safe and motivated to become better citizens.

Happy New Years!!

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