And also, I’m not ready.
Already I’m starting to see those sweet school bus photos on Facebook — the ones with smiling, freshly scrubbed, bright-eyed children in brand new backpacks and light-up shoes — and I think, “Aw! I’m so ready for that!”
Then I see my own children (Michigan schools generally don’t start until after Labor Day) still lazing about happily on couches and pool decks with nothing much to do all day but play and read and play some more, and I think, “Aw! I’m so not ready for this summer to end!”
My children are ready.
And also, they’re not ready.
They miss their friends, their teachers, and the gently ordered structure of their days at school. They miss being stretched and challenged to learn new things and grow inside and out. They miss field trips and recess and having someplace fun and interesting to go every day.
They don’t miss early wake-up calls, times tables, or piano practice. They don’t miss the daily anxiety that comes from trying to pass tests, please teachers, and fit in with their friends.
You know who else is ready, though? (And this next bit helps all of us with all our lingering unreadiness.)
The kind, smart teachers and staff waiting to welcome them back to school.
Come in. Come in. Come in through this door. Are you new?
Judi Moreillon and Catherine Stock capture the spirit of the back-to-school season so well, don’t you think?
Your clever classmates and your friendly teacher say, “We’re ready and waiting for you.”
There’s a restlessness unique to this time of year. We know autumn is coming — full of good things and happy memories waiting to be made — but that doesn’t stop us from trying to squeeze every last moment of joy out of the summer we have left.
And still, the school year beckons us, though in a friendly way:
Come in. Come in. Come in through this door. . .
We won’t be a whole school till you do.
Everyone’s waiting for you.
We’re almost ready. Not quite, but almost. Are you?
P.S. Whether you and your kids feel ready or not, I highly recommend Judi Moreillon and Catherine Stock’s delightful picture book Ready and Waiting for You for family and classroom reading during the back-to-school season. It will help — I promise!
* * *
About Rachel in Review:
Life for this kid lit enthusiast and working mother of four can be messy. Confusing. Painful. Funny. Breathtakingly beautiful.
Enter the Eerdmans books. So, so many of our books, whether they’re bedtime books for babies or coming-of-age novels for young adults, seem to have a single uncannily common quality about them: they just fit. These wise, wonderful books somehow manage to tie into — and by so doing, help me sort out — the knotty complexities of life as I actually experience them.