Back to School Musings

August 31st. First day of school for my kids.

Like a million other parents, I face this morning a bit torn. On the one hand, I am ecstatic. This summer seemed to go on just a bit too long, and the kids were just a bit more on my nerves than usual for the past week or so. I’m more than ready to have an empty house for a few hours so that I can collect my thoughts, do some housecleaning, and maybe get some writing done.

On the other hand, today is a little bittersweet. Today, my older son Wesley, half of the Double W’s, starts middle school.  100_4314

He says he isn’t nervous, and for the most part I believe him. He doesn’t seem to get nervous over things like this; he just takes things in stride (definitely NOT something he gets from me!). However, as I was getting his breakfast this morning, he began looking through the dishful of keys that we keep next to the microwave. He found a keychain someone had gotten him in kindergarten—a big green T-Rex. When Wesley was in kindergarten, he wanted to be a paleontologist, so that keychain had held a lot of importance once upon a time. Maybe three or four years ago, he decided that dinosaurs weren’t all that cool, and the keychain was relegated to our dishful of keys.

It took me a bit by surprise when he picked up that keychain and just nonchalantly said, “I think I want this keychain on my backpack again.” Part of me thought about asking why he needed a keychain hanging on his backpack when he’d gone several years with a plain black backpack. I worried that it might look a bit childish to have a dinosaur hanging from his backpack strap.

But then I realized that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t quite as secure as he appears on the outside. After all, he’s on a new journey today, and maybe he needs that little piece of his childhood to go along with him as he takes another step towards growing up.

Have a great first day of middle school, Wesley! You’ll do great!

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