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.