Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Back to School

DD#2 was the last one to start school this year. She's also our last child at our parish school, which means that she gets to ride in the front seat of the car and she is responsible for The Family Envelope.

She dropped her backpack and supplies off at the 7th Grade spot, introduced herself to the new girl in the class (who doesn't have her class sweatshirt yet and was trying to keep warm), and began the process of finding out what everyone else had been up to all summer.

One of the girls was SO excited: "We're in SEVENTH GRADE! Can you BELIEVE it?!"

"You know," I said, "this is your second-to-the-last first day."

She thought about it for a minute. "Oh, WOW! I have to go tell my mom!"

The school day begins with a prayer, a hymn, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a song for those celebrating their birthdays. This year it included introductions of the new principal, the new pastor, and several new teachers (and one who got married over the summer and so has a new name). Once the kids were dismissed, we had a Welcome Back coffee for the parents. A group of us gathered: last year's 8th Grade parents, back for once again with our last children. We laughed about it and talked of how our sons were handling the challenges of high school and trying to figure out when they received First Reconciliation because we have to register them for the first year of the Confirmation program.

This is my second-to-the-last Welcome Coffee. It's as much of a rite as buying school supplies and the first-day-of-school pictures taken at the front door. After 15 years, I can hardly imagine starting the school year without it.