Happy Back to School! Just thought I’d say it now because in the morning I will be too busy and too frazzled to chat. Seven a.m. and alarm clocks. Oh My! Here’s hoping I will be out of my pyjamas in time for dropoff. Tonight I am waxing nostalgic for a moment. This is a picture of my youngest child – who tomorrow enters grade two. My oldest girl will head off to grade five. That’s freaking me out a bit, but by now we’ve done this enough times to know that it will be a wee bit sad and we’ll also be a little bit happy tomorrow too. I probably won’t be crying. But hey anything is possible! Back to school is a crazy mix of emotions I never could have entertained as a young singleton, even as a crazed new parent. I used to look at my oldest child when she was a newborn and imagine how happy I would be for her to start school. Then came the day she started Junior Kindergarten. I took her picture and she walked away waving and what’s more they closed the door to the classroom. There I was all alone, blubbering big fat tears in the school hall. So, to you parents who have children starting school tomorrow for the first time, I would just like to say: Take Kleenex. I can still recall my own first day of school as absolutely terrifying. I was a horribly shy child. I am sure I cried and refused to make friends for at least a week. Oh it was scary at first, but then it was a door to so much more than a building. The days so much more than just a bunch of classes. I loved school. It was escape and potential and the future and the present and everything possible that lay ahead. It was imagination and hope and joy and success. Some small failures too. It was learning to stand up for yourself. And learning to stand up for others and making new friends. It was crying – and then learning that crying gets you nothing when the teacher is not Mom or Dad. It was learning from mistakes. Learning a swear word or two. It was growing taller and smarter and braver than I ever would have been without school. So, for my children, and for all of your children too, I hope that tomorrow is the start of all of these things. For me – well, first I hope the alarm clock goes off. I hope I am able to finally get some work done again. I hope that I don’t bawl. But mostly I hope I am not still in my pyjamas at dropoff time.