wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

The beginning of the school year feels like the beginning of the new year, more so than January 1st does.  To me it does, anyway.  We call it "the most wonderful time of the year", mimicking that Christmas song.  The children are not amused. 

But each and every school year, I feel that rush, that excitement of things starting over, of new things beginning.  I LOVE buying school supplies!  I'm such a nerd.  Now that they are older it's all about regular, boring yellow #2 pencils and primary colored folders.  BORING.  I miss the days of art deco pencils and folders with pictures of horses, kittens or seascapes on them.  Those were for me, by the way, not the boys.  They favored bikes and skateboards and skulls.  Magic markers and the jumbo, buy 5 get 20 free, packages of glue sticks.  Now it's just plain black composition books, pens with black or blue ink and a bazillion packages of wide-ruled notebook paper.  Back in my day I wanted a Trapper-Keeper.  Not a generic one.  THE original Trapper-Keeper.  They had their own commercials!  Maybe I'm not paying attention but I don't think the name brand is participating in that over the top kind of marketing anymore.  Some schools don't even want you to have a Trapper, generic or otherwise. 

I hated school clothes shopping when I was a kid.  Mostly because I could never, ever find shoes to fit.  Even if I had found great tops and shorts or pants, the whole entire trip would be ruined over shoes.  Too small, too narrow, rubbed my heel, all the really cute, adorable ones never, ever worked out.  "Sorry, we just don't have anything in girls or ladies shoes that will fit her width".  Boys tennis shoes would fit though.  Which is great for a young lady in middle school.  I still have that problem so I mostly resort to flip flops whenever I can.

However, there were several school years that my Grandma Roer made me and my cousins special dresses.  I looked forward to it and couldn't wait for the first day of school just so I could wear it.  My cousin Shelly and I, when we went to the same school for awhile, would make sure we weren't wearing the matching dresses on the same day.  I usually wore them with flip flops or on P.E. days, those damn boys tennis shoes!

Back in those days we had metal lunch boxes with a thermos inside.  I wanted one so, so bad.  All day long I would think about it.  I would point out the ones that interested me when we went to the store.  And worried that I wouldn't get one the closer it got to school and I didn't have it in my greedy little hands yet.  And then, it happened.  My step great grandma (bless her, was trying really hard) brought over a light blue plastic Snoopy one that was oblong and not square.  Not anywhere at any time had I ever pointed THAT one out.  I was ungrateful, not to her face, but ungrateful nonetheless.  Still, the first day of school I used that Snoopy lunch box because I HAD a lunchbox and it was kind of a status symbol to have one.  Eventually it just became easier to not have one more thing to carry back and forth to school so I stopped using it altogether.  Sad.  Just sad.  The boys always prefer eating "hot lunch" at the cafeteria.  Not because it tastes good or is super nutritious, but because it's easier.  Neither of them want to make decisions on what to have for lunch, make it, pack it, lug it.  They will eat what's in front of them.  Even the stereotypical "mystery meat".  Trust me, sometimes it really is mystery meat. 

So, about 3 1/2 weeks from now, the new school year will start.  Most of the kids will be wearing new clothes and new shoes.  Have fresh hair cuts.  Most of the staff (this girl included) will, too.  They will be excited at being in a grade higher, seeing their friends again after a long break and just be ready for what the new year has to offer.  It's fun to watch.

I need to make a mental note to look back at this post when the actual new year arrives and remind myself that I love my job, to get over the frustrations and the overwhelming feeling of being "done" by that time and just appreciate the fact that they are still learning new things, even if it doesn't feel like it.  All without the help of a metal lunch box or a Trapper Keeper. 


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