Here we go…

For as long as I can remember, the start of school represented the “New Year” in a much bigger way than January 1st ever did. The beginning of school represented a fresh start. Smooth, perfect folders, clean backpacks, and a brand new lunchbox. A different group of friends, a new teacher with his/her own approach to classroom management. It was something to which I looked forward. I’ve always enjoyed going to school – to the extreme that after I was just in school for six hours, I’d come home, gather my dolls and cats, and PLAY school. This year, school will look very different, but the same mix of excitement and nervousness remain.

Covid has added to the transition of seasons. A long list of restrictions, limitations, recommendations, and guidelines greet us at each turn. Nothing is the same as before, yet I refuse to call this the “new normal” as some choose to do. Perhaps I’m in denial, but I’m praying that we will eventually (hopefully sooner than later) get a grip on this virus. And until then, I will be a rule follower – like I’ve always been. No, I’m not letting fear control me and my life, I am trusting those who are experts in the field. I don’t need to “open my eyes”, “do my research”, or “stop acting like a sheep”. I will do what I believe is best for me and my family , and respect others as they do the same.

Shortly, I will be preparing dinner for my (now) family of four. Two empty chairs will remind us of the two that are no longer at home. We keep in close contact by constantly blowing up our family group chat, frequent FaceTime, and many phone calls. We check our calendars for the next time we can see them in person. We buy extra stamps so we can send silly note, cards, and perhaps a little fun money. We use their empty rooms and maybe, just maybe, wear some of the clothes left in their closet. We miss them madly.

And yet, it begins. First days come and go. Schedules become familiar and curriculum becomes comfortable. Those of us that still have football to enjoy will do so. The rest of us will need a new hobby this fall. Alarm clocks are set 5 days a week and the dog is completely confused as to where all of her people have gone. The weather changes and we pull out our sweatshirts and cinnamon candles. Thinking of all of us as we begin again.

❤️ Happy New School Year 🍎📚📝🚌🎨

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