Every Mom Has Back To School Memories

A few days ago I was in our local Dollarama and noticed two pretty girls and their mom in the school supplies aisle. The girls were giggling and excited as they picked out colourful notebooks and pretty pencils. The mom had a look of peace and joy.  Probably because summer is nearly over and the kids will be back into a routine! But I suspect she’s also enjoying her children’s delight at the small things.

Even if you hated school or detested homework, you likely are a mom who has some fond memories of the first days of school.  Did you sharpen all your pencils the night before the first day and place them in your new pencil case? Maybe your mom was like mine and she would painstakingly whittle a spot at the end of each pencil and pencil crayon to reveal bare wood and then carefully print your name. What year was it when Laurentian finally got the hint and put a white blank space for names on their pencils? I think it was the 90s~ this generation of kids probably doesn’t understand the special-ness of having your mom’s printing on every pencil…carved in by her own hand.

The smell of fresh sharpened pencils.

The feel of a new scribbler~that’s what we called our notebooks. And who doesn’t still love the 4-pack of colourful Hilroy notebooks? Every year I wonder what I could use them for….I just can’t resist buying a set.

And glue. Oh how I loved the smell of paste glue. Long before glue sticks were a thing and white school glue was only what teachers had, we had paste glue with its own unique odour.  I can almost smell it now.

And then there was LePage’s Brown Liquid glue with the rubber tipped applicator…what a mess! But oh how fun….I loved gluing everything.

The first day of school is magical, isn’t it? New clothes, new shoes, new books, new pencils and erasers. You don’t have any baggage from the year before; it got left behind in the summer heat, pool parties and backyard fires.

The first day is full of new faces, familiar friends, happy teachers(if you were lucky, they stayed that way till June) and the promise of learning something new.

For me, the first day was scary and stressful as a shy, introverted child. But my love of books, especially math pages and spelling tests , was enough to get me over that hurdle and push me out the door.

Bus rides and singalongs, playground games and swinging high, construction paper and creative collages~ school was a special, expressive, and growing time.

So every year, the week before school starts, I still get butterflies, I still walk the back to school supply aisles of the local department stores even though we rarely have to buy most of what is there( 2 of my 4 kids are graduated and the other 2 are in high school).  I love to see the sheer delight on the faces of 6 and 7 year olds as they walk proudly down the street with their new backpacks and lunch bags……

ooooo! Lunch kit! My most special one was a red plaid metal box!

*sigh*  Good memories.  Now tell me yours. What do you remember? What were the special moments , sights and smells that made you love this magical time of year? Do you live vicariously through your own kids when picking out new notebooks and running shoes? I want to hear from you and then I will post some of my favourite stories for the first week of school in September!


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