It is a quick few weeks from the county fair back to the first day of school. We will soon cross the
threshold from summer freedom to the best example of societal tough love ever as parents send children back to school.
Back to school is tough love because this separation often creates some emotional pain to both the student
and the parent however it is a selfless love to daily give up your child so that they may acquire the sort of
knowledge that can make their lives remarkable.
I liked school but I did not like leaving home. I would awake fairly late during the summer. I would come
downstairs and breakfast would still be waiting for me even though everyone else had eaten and gone out
to work. I took music lessons and played baseball. When needed, I would go outside and help with the
cattle or wait until the dew was gone from the alfalfa so I could bale. I was kind of a country gentleman
and hated leaving this life for school.
Prior to the first day of school, I would say goodbye to the animals and take a few last bicycle trips
around the section. I always hated back to school shopping, not only because it meant school was nigh but
also because straight-leg jeans were all that was available and I found them uncomfortable. Mom would
purchase huge pants for me that fit my legs and then take in the waist so they wouldn’t fall down. It was a
lot of work; my mom did a lot for me.
Anyway, school was fine when I got there and I liked seeing my friends and playing a little football. Math
classes were a bore but I liked biology and loved English classes. You always hear stories about students
who hate reading Shakespeare, I was not one of those kids.
I wanted to tell parents that I understand how hard must be the process of school and the temporary
separation. I mean, you spend several years bonding and loving this little version of yourself and now you
have to let them go. Man, that must be hard! If I had to know that our cats would regularly leave our
home and know their safety was someone else’s responsibility, I think it would kill me. Except Twitch, I
think he would get sent home so often that we would never get the chance to miss him
I wanted to say something to teachers, too. You are often presented with children who have chaotic home
lives who may not have even received breakfast and receive little parental support yet you get blamed
because they don’t learn as quickly as the other children. Those of you who also coach or referee face the
same set of circumstances plus you get to hear those same uninvolved parents scream at you from the
stands. The vast majority of us know the truth and think very highly of teachers, coaches and referees.
One more thing, if you drive a car then get ready to stop for the school bus. When I see a bus, I
immediately take my foot off the pedal just in case. Even if the yellow lights aren’t flashing- slow down.
If the stop-arm is deployed, then you stop. I don’t care if you are in a hurry or are a super, self-important
member of our community- you stop and wait until the stop arm is no longer deployed. It is that simple
and failure to do so is a gross misdemeanor and there are people who go to jail for gross misdemeanors
every day in this world.
It’s back to school and there is something for everyone to consider. Now, back to class.