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A fresh start

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 6.17.19 PM

Monday marked the first day of school for kids all across the USA. Some even started the previous week. My kids have one more week of sleeping in, video games and devastating laziness before they are scheduled back to school next Monday.

I’ve noticed varying degrees of both excitement and angst expressed by parents and kids about the prospect of going back to school. It seems my friend Billy Coffey views the start of a new school year with a tinge of melancholy. I believe he referred to it as feeling like death.

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 6.48.51 PMThen again, Billy’s a professional writer. Writers tend to have a “glass half empty, dirty and chipped” outlook on life at times. (And if you’re a professional writer and happen to be reading this, don’t bother arguing with me. You know how you are.)

I, on the other hand, look forward to the new school year. Always have.

It’s an opportunity to start over with a clean slate. And not just for the kids, but for the teachers and parents, too. We all have perfect attendance and passing grades. None of us have forgotten about the parent/teacher conference that was scheduled or forgotten to pack our kid’s lunch on mystery meat day in the cafeteria. (Which incidentally, it pretty much every day.) We haven’t fought about homework, bedtimes, or missed assignments. All is set to zero and opportunities for greatness abound.

And while we’ve all had a safe, relaxing and fun summer, I think my kids are ready to get back into the predictable routine that the school year brings.

I know I am:

(That video never gets old, does it?)

Back to school and the sound of silence

As summer draws to an end, millions of school children across America are heading back to school. Many have already returned to classes. My kids start today–the boy starts his freshman year of high school and the girl begins junior high. I’m still wondering when they grew up so fast, but I digress…

The following story set to music never actually happened, and I’m praying that it doesn’t. But based upon past experience, if the tale were to become reality, no one would be less surprised than I.

It is my remake of The Sound of Silence, originally made famous by Simon and Garfunkle. The song remains the same, only the lyrics have changed. Sing along, won’t you?

Hello, bus stop my old friend
I’ve come to walk to you again
Summer’s over no more late sleeping
No more channel changing kids fighting
And the hope that’s been planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In empty house I walk alone
No more chirping, bleeping phones
Time for emails, tying up loose ends
Check the Twitter play some Words with Friends
When my ears hear the shrill of a ringing phone
In my home
And break the sounds of silence

On caller ID I spy
The number of the senior high
Son is calling, he forgot his phone
Asking me to bring it there from home
Son now hearing me say his phone is not my care
And how he dare
Disturb the sounds of silence

“Son,” said I, “I didn’t need
A phone til I was twenty-three
You’re in school that they might teach you
Your facebook friends don’t need to reach you.”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the sounds of silence

And so the conversation ends
He’s off to class with all his friends
Pour some coffee find my favorite chair
Front porch rocker in warm fresh air
I enjoy my peace til the phone rings shrill and high
Junior High
And breaks the sound of silence…

Oh, well…maybe tomorrow

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a back to school post without my very favorite Staples commercial:

Snort! That never gets old.