I love back to school time of year for many reasons. I have been called an office supply/school supply hoarder. I am no longer allowed to go in to the office supply store alone this time of year. I never outgrew my excitement for buying new pens, pencils, notebooks and other stationary paraphernalia. The scent of the paper and ink sends my pulse racing. I am not alone in this obsession. Admit it, some of you can relate to my secret stash of pencils that I do not share and the stash of pens that I will loan with the understanding that if it isn’t returned the borrower will pay the price with their first born or a pound of flesh. Oh come on! Those are my good pens, y’all.
I like this time of year for the memories of the promise of new friendships. Many of my lasting relationships started during the first few weeks of school. On my Facebook friends list you will see my best friends from middle school and high school. I even married one.
As you send your kids off to school this month, remind them about the important stuff. Remind them to stay safe the world is an ugly place. Encourage them to make new friends and keep the good ones they have. Tell them that the friends they meet now are the ones that will love them the longest, disappoint them the worst and beak their hearts the hardest. Every bit of love, disappointment and heartache is worth it. Tell them to yell the loudest at the pep rallies, eat the pizza in the cafeteria, get all those crazy people to sign their yearbooks, and pay attention in class. Give them a camera, preferably one of those New Retro Polaroids. Encourage them to take thousands of pictures. The snapshots they take now will be gold to them in twenty years or less.
Remind them that all the stuff that seems so important right now should be put to the test, will it matter for my future? No, then let it go. Yes, then give it the attention it deserves. Make them read, read and read some more.
Most importantly impress upon them that no matter what happens this school year, no matter what people think or say, they are special, important and unique.