I'm pretty sure it was never quite this hot each fall when I started school. I suppose it's a combination of the fact that we actually started school later in August back in the "good old days" (I think, right?) and the fact that it's consistently hotter outside now than I've ever remembered in my life. I mean, I've always known the summery feeling of climbing inside a hot car. A car that's been parked outside in the sun for awhile. It's hard to breathe because the air is so thick with heat. It's difficult to even touch the steering wheel for fear of getting burned. But this year seems so much worse. How is that even possible? I don't know, but the miserable heat is going to be super fun on the playgrounds, I'm sure. Bless their little hearts! They're going to have to have a snowcone truck parked outside and require two mandatory trips per play period.
Thoughts of school always come back each fall. There's no two ways about it. And I miss it, in a strange and wonderful way, each time. Jeremy and I have lots of little school-age friends and nieces/nephews, especially those going into kindergarten. And I've been alternating teaching/helping with the kindergarteners at church on Wednesday nights in the last few months. These kids heading to school all been on our minds a lot lately. We wonder how they'll react...how they will like it...what will be their favorite part(s)? And we think back to our own days of starting school.
My friend Ashley's daughter Ella is starting kindergarten...she's been praying all summer to get into the "castle room." A room with a huge castle inside it - where the children go inside to read their books. Tell me that doesn't sound awesome. Well, simply put, prayer works! She, lover of all things Disney princess-related, was thrilled to find out she had, indeed, been assigned to the teacher with the castle room.
By the way, this is the same Ella who was ecstatic to find out that they would be having music lessons. She said, "I've been wanting to learn to play the violin!!" =)
Ella's mom Ashley has been known, through the years, to say, "I smell kindergarten" at random moments. I think it's a mixture of aromas found in a kindergarten classroom that conjures up such a memory for her: crayons, markers, glue sticks, construction paper (wait, can you smell construction paper?) And it's a good memory. These kids heading to school now will, hopefully, have some wonderful memories of their own of kindergarten someday.
Here are a few of mine:
1. My teacher - Mrs. Cherry. Isn't that the perfect name for a kindergarten teacher? I still marvel at it. She was always very sweet and liked me. I did get in trouble once, though, because I was under one of the tables, trying to get the markers. Or something. Memory is very fuzzy on the details but somehow she reprimanded me and said I wouldn't get to go outside to play that day. I think she either forgot she said it...or maybe remembered how sweet and good I was 99% of the time and just decided to let it slide. ;) And I never got in trouble again! In kindergarten anyway. Not that I remember.
2. I remember my new friend Andrea (that I haven't seen in YEARS and I'm blanking on her last name) and at some point syncing my breathing with hers...we thought we'd always breathe exactly together from then on. Both of us are rocket scientists now, oddly enough.
3. My first crush was on this boy named Cam. He was never my little boyfriend, though. I was too shy. But I had chicken pox in kindergarten and Mrs. Cherry had everyone in the class draw me a get-well picture. I remember looking through them and looking at Cam's picture longer than everyone else's...
4. We had a Christmas play and I was a doll. I had long curls, so I guess that Mrs. Cherry thought I was perfect for the part. My grandma made my dress and pinafore. My cousin Beth was in a different class...I think she was an elf.
I've heard that our favorite little kindergartners are excited about school and are loving it so far. I've been excited and nervous for them. And for their moms, who report tears or almost-tears on their part.
May kindergarten bring the kind of good memories...of craft projects and reading castles and new friends and playtime...that they will think about fondly for years to come!