Monday, September 22, 2008

Warm Cookies

We are four weeks into the school year and I find myself asking "What happened to the BACK TO SCHOOL frenzy?" Where were the ubiquitous television and print ads hawking the latest 'must have' items for teens in the know? How did I escape the crowds at STAPLES where bewildered parents ushered their reluctant children through the abundantly stocked aisles in pursuit of notebooks, pens and all things Hannah Montana? It must have have happened. As the Grinch knows, there is no stopping Christmas and there is certainly no stopping that similar consumer onslaught that BACK TO SCHOOL sales engender.

It came and went, yet the craziness somehow passed me by. This was a gentler, kinder, calmer beginning. A start to a new year marked by the slow pace of someone who had the confidence and experience to realize that all will unfold in its proper time. It was not a bad place in which to find myself.

Instead of rushing through my days with a singular focus, or sequential unfolding foci that require running from one thing to another, I took time to enjoy the 'warm cookie' moments.

These are moments that allow you to partake in the greatest treasure we have - one another. If we think back to our childhoods I think all of us can identify several precious moments that we now hold dear but that were just ordinary moments at the time. Perspective changes as we get older doesn't it.

My friend Patti wrote me on the first day of this school year wishing me well and sharing her thoughts about sending her children off to school. With her permission I'd like to include part of her email:

Today, the first day of school, is always special to me. I try and make it special for the kids also. My oldest Anna is off at 6:40 am, so I made her breakfast and just chatted about what to expect. It was a special time for me. Calli was off at 8:55 am, and now I am at work for a bit. Can't wait to hear all the stories of day 1 for both of them over milk and warm cookies (yes, I am a geek) Warm cookies are always a first day of school affair.

Her daughters may not know it now but these are the days my friend (we thought they'd never end...) I can clearly see my younger self tearing off the school bus and running home to tell my mom all about my first day of school - thanks for listening mom!

This is what BACK TO SCHOOL should be, at least in my opinion. The warm cookie moments are the moments to remember. I am sure the big hearted Grinch would agree.

20 comments:

Joy Keaton said...

Well clearly I'm the Grinch because I was spending a fair amount of time in Staples a couple of weeks ago and OMIGOD... it was painful! *sigh* These people with their ENORMOUS lists of things just to send a kid to elementary school. Hello, notebook and some pencils let's call it a day already. (I was very cranky)

Maybe it's because my mother didn't make me cookies? Hmmm... ;)

How in the world are we friends again? Ohh I remember, Rainbows!!!

Kellyann Brown said...

My mom always took our picture on the first day of school. So... there are twenty-five first day of school shots... starting with my brother, then adding my sister, then ending with me. The funniest part of the whole mini-drama is the blur that is our father, a teacher for more than forty years. He is always a blur in tie and sweater, holding a clipboard and a hundred pencils or pens. Later on, I found out that he never slept the night before the first day of school, always too excited and nervous about the day to come, I guess! I wonder if other people's mothers (OPM) also took their picture of the first day of school?

tut-tut said...

What a nice invocation to slow down; we are always rushing to complete the assignment and get on with the next one. Better stop and realize how liquid it all is.

Reya Mellicker said...

I always dreaded the whole back-to-school frenzy. As a serious introvert, having to be in class with all those kids every single day was so painful.

If I'd been in your class, I'm certain I would have very different memories.

Glad it was gentle!

Steve said...

Great post! Warm cookie moments indeed. I need more of those, even now! (The moments, not the cookies.)

I used to love the first day of school, resolving to keep all my fresh clean notebooks orderly and neat. Of course, that lasted about two weeks. (Maybe less.)

WAT said...

Hello there sir! I am jealous that some of ye bloggers are getting together in THE BIG APPLE this weekend! ARGH! I'll watch the economic collapse from L.A. I suppose.

Ya think the lack of hype for BACK TO SCHOOL is due to our crappy economy? Could be. I love cookies! Especially the fresh-baked kind, cinammon sugar. Mmmmmmmm. Perfect for winter/Xmas!

I thank u for visiting my blog and commenting. You always have good stuff to say to my crazy posts.

Amen.

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

Glad you had a sane back to school. I did too, more or less. Things are going well and I just can't complain. :-) Slowing down is good - and I feel like I didn't live that way for a long time, what with working and getting my PhD.

la bellina mammina said...

My eldest will be starting high school next year - back to school is in Jan for us here), my middle one will be moving to a school closer to where we live now, so it will definitely be a special and new (back to school) beginning for us....

patti said...

Warm cookies & milk make a great time for talking. My kids love to sit at the table and chat about there day. Everyday. My memories of my childhood come flooding back. Some good, some not so good. I guess thats what has made me who I am today. As Gary says "Thanks Mom!" (& you Gary)

Mikey T said...

I can't remember ever feeling anything but dread before the first day of school. I remember not sleeping the night before, crying the morning of, and the knot in my stomach that lasted until the first class was underway. And that was all the way through college. I never could accept that it would be ok and that there was plenty of enjoyment ahead. I guess I'm just such a summer bunny that school always felt like doom. Maybe its my mom's fault for not having warm cookies waiting for me? I'll have to yell at her for that next time I see her!! :)

Mikey T said...

But I do share your surprise at not being overwhelmed by the "Back to School" marketing blitz this summer. Usually those ads beat the end of summer into your mind relentlessly, but not so much this year!! It was pleasant!

edward said...

warm cookies sound comforting!

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I wish I could justify making warm cookies but have to resist the temptation of living alone...or of living with a dog that needs them no more than I do. He gets half a tea spoon of peanut butter in his chew toy at night and not a bit more.

d. chedwick said...

I was a nerd, so I really loved school and the first day was always orientation and seeing old friend, meeting new people--I was always happy to see new young teachers (they always seemed hipper, you know?) I loved walking to school in the fresh fall air.

Pauline said...

Glad your first days back at school were so pleasant. Mine were a frenzy of tears (some of my second graders seem very young!) and hugs and new faces, of that strange combination of excitement and dread that bursts out of them in unpredictable ways. I wouldn't trade my job for anything else!

lettuce said...

6.40am! blimey. 7.00 doesn't seem quite so bad now...

i've had a week of frenzy with new students... but have also managed to maintain a reasonably calm pace. mostly.

have a calm, kind weekend gary - wish i was meeting up with you all too!

(gonna have to go to youtube now. Mary hopkins wasn't it?)

Barbara said...

I didn't grow up dipping my cookies in milk. In fact, I don't think we had a lot of homemade cookies. Did I lead a deprived childhood? :)

Glad back-to-school was just no big deal for you!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

what a warm and comforting post! thanks for taking me back to thinking about that first day of school. similar to kellyann, but it was my dad working the camera, for several years there was the practice of taking a picture of my brother and I off for the first day of school. for em's first few years I followed my dad's example - but then the practice fell out of favor with my modell!

I agree with you on the level of frenziedness this year surrounding the whole back to school shopping, maybe it is because the economy is in the toliet!?

it was GREAT seeing you saturday!!!

yum, warm cookies. I love cookies.

Lynda said...

I think everyone needs warm comforting moments.
I was lucky my Mom was at home when I came home from school, and loved sharing the events of the day with her.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful blog posts with us!

Gary said...

Warm cookies to all of you. Thanks for sharing your memories and thoughts. xoxo

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