back to school update...

Pictures of children heading back to school, posing with their new backpacks and fresh digs outside the playground have been flooding my facebook feed.  AND.  I love every single one of them.  Some bring tears to my eyes, and some make me smile from ear to ear.  My cousin April's kids look so big, and I can't believe I am not there to watch them grow.  My long lost junior high friend Ashley's boy just started preschool, and I thought he was just a year older than Asher, it can't be time for this already, can it?  Jon and Kacee's sweet girl looks so much like her mama, it brings tears to my eyes.  And Bethany's Jaida is the spitting image of her grandmother, someone I loved as much as my own mother, who would have enjoyed being grandma to this funny little girl far more than I am even imagining, I am sure.

Why is it that going back to school is such a poignant memory in my life each year?  I remember being very little in Michigan, and coming home after buying school supplies and new clothes and setting all the items up across the couch and not wanting to take them down.  Jesse and I played store with them until the neighbor boy came over and teased me about my new underwear sitting out for him to see. 

I remember eating breakfast at the table on my first day of kindergarten, I was only 4 years old.  I remember walking to the bus stop at the end of the street with my daddy, and trying not to cry when the bus doors closed.  I remember the nerves and uncertainty I felt walking into that classroom for the first time.  Mrs. Sandy eased my nerves immediately.

Every year I would await the day, the exact hour, that they would post our class lists on the front door of the school, and mom and I would usually be waiting when the secretary opened the door and started taping the lists up for all to see.  She would smile at us, and hand us a school supply list, and the anticipation would be almost more than I could bare.  I would check for my name first, and then my friends.  And I would cry when my friends weren't in my class.  The summer before 4th grade I had prayed for Mrs. Leners to be my teacher each and every day, and when I read my name under her class list, I wasn't even disappointed to see only 1 friends name in the group with me.

Picking out folders, and pencils, and new notebooks, was always my favorite shopping event of the year.  In fact, it still is.  Now I wait til they all go on clearance, a couple weeks after school starts, and I go up and down the aisles looking for cute folders, and new markers, and my favorite kind of pens and buy just 1 or 2 (or 22).  And I take them home, and I show Matthew who looks at me like I may have lost my mind... but I don't care one bit... because for just a few moments, I am 6 again with fresh school supplies and a brand new start.  The nerves even return for a moment, and the excitement, and the fear.  And then I remember I am nearly 29, and have to go to work the net day so I can bay stacks of bills that never seem to dwindle.  But for a moment with new notebooks and pens, I forget that, and I am 6 again.

I have been going back to school for 4 semesters now, and have finished 38 credits, with one lousy B ruining my perfect A average.  It has been such a struggle, and I am working harder at school than I ever have before.  It had been so long since I went the first time, that I basically was starting over and it seemed so daunting in the beginning.  But I am enjoying learning, and I am enjoying and the challenge.  I am hating being so busy, and I am hating the time suck that takes time away from my 2 favorite boys... but this is temporary.  I have remained on track for everything I am hoping and planning for, and am praying that things continue to go so well.  Pray for me this next 2 semesters, I will have a lot of things coming up that will decided the future for me. 

That first day back to class... I felt exactly like I did that first day of kindergarten no many years before.  I walked into class so nervous my hands were shaking, with a pit the size of a grapefruit in my gut.  I sat myself near the back, but not the way back, and kept telling myself I would be alright.  I whispered prayers in my head for peace and strength, and I wondered what in the world I was thinking.  I knew my survival in this quest would depend on the ability to make a friend, so as the teacher spoke I scoped out the class.  There were people my age there, and I watched them as they worked trying to see who I should align myself with.  No slackers wanted round here, I was determined and sure this time around.  And I made a friend, or 2 or 3, that helped make that first class much easier.  So I signed up again the next semester, and then the one after that... and so it continues.

In September I will start my 5th semester, my 2nd full year back.  And I don't quite feel that anticipation for going back that I once did when I was young, perhaps because I have been taking no breaks (winter and summer classes are a must to get me where I want to be)... but I do feel an anticipation in accomplishing something.  I feel a fresh wind, and a new hope, the same as I did.  And I will be carrying with me some fresh new school supplies that will hopefully make me feel, even if for only a moment, like I am 6 again and have the whole world in front of me.  



  1. Dear Melinda Sue, as I told you some weeks ago : you have to proud of yourself.
    Going back to school after a long time is very very HARD ! We would have to say that to young people : "work now ! Because after, it will be harder !".
    But they don't take care of what we say ;)
    Courage !!


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