You might think that the tears rolling down the faces of the parents at the bus stop this morning were from the sadness of seeing their little children head off to school.
Those were tears of joy.
Joy that the parents will reclaim their quiet house for at least a few hours each day. Joy that the house can be cleaned without a couple of little monsters trailing right behind making a new mess. Joy that one can eat lunch without having to dodge a flying chicken nugget.
That’s right…today is the first day of school in our town and I swear that I saw a few parents dancing down the street as the bus pulled away.
For the last few years, we have had an annual tradition in our neighborhood where we host a breakfast for all of the kids on the first day of school. At 7:30am this morning, I was outside setting up the table and chairs for the big celebration. Oddly enough, most of the kids seemed just as ready to be going back to school as the parents were to have them out of the house.
There were bagels and donuts. Strawberries, grapes, and watermelon. Chocolate milk and orange juice. Sausage and pancakes, with more than one half-eaten sausage link placed back into the dish by one of the kids (yum…but I’ll pass, thanks).
The clock was ticking down and the bus would be arriving shortly. The kids were getting anxious and running around as more than a few parents cringed with the thought of the brand new gym shoes being destroyed before the first day of school had even started.
Then we saw it…the school bus was approaching.
All of the kids grabbed their back packs that were stuffed to the seams with school supplies and lunch bags. Gone are the days of the hug and kiss good-bye, as the kids are all a year older now and way too cool for that. Instead we received the nonchalant head bob indicating that all was good.
As the bus pulled away, all of the parents waved and then turned to one another with a big smile on their face. The other dad that was able to make the voyage with me this year had to head off to work. Thanks to my flexible schedule, I have the day off today and eased back into my chair with all of the moms as we talked about the upcoming school year.
After about an hour of conversation and more nibbling on the goodies, we all went off to start our day. As I began to take down the table and chairs, one of the moms suggested that I leave it all out so we can reconvene for a margarita this afternoon before the bus brings all of the kids home.
Not a bad idea at all, but first I need to go wipe away this tear in my eye.