Back to school: tearing up at the smell of new notebooks

Today was the big Day. I couldn’t sleep well, spent half of the night reading blogs on my mobile phone and finally got up at 7. Mixed feelings: relief at the thought of resuming a predictable schedule and a sort of cerebral life and the usual anxiousness at the thought that the kids would go into a new class, with new classmates and new teachers. All on their own.

Tall one played cool: was dressed and combed in a flat 5 minutes, prepared his bag, bragged about being in the last year of kindergarten and finally being in the same class of his best pal. Short one took forever to get up and even longer to dress and eat breakfast. backtoschoolThe Husband and I entered the new school and started having dejà vu: the whirlwind of schoolbags, children, adults, the confusion of lists, unfamiliar faces coming to shake hands and introducing themselves: “Hello, I am the teacher”. I had kept myself together pretty well till we had to walk them in class. Then I couldn’t resist a few tears and tried really hard to think of something funny in order not to show any emotions. If the children had seen me, they would have started screaming like hell.

The interesting thing is, I wasn’t crying because I was leaving my children. Of course, I am sad not to have them around but I also realize that at some point they just need a teacher and a class and community rules.

I cried because the smell of new notebooks, the noise of hundreds of feet climbing a marble staircase, the mixture of cries and reassurances, the drawings on the wall and the smiling teachers all felt very familiar. Too familiar. As if we were still in 1982, with the exceptions that I was now among the adults in the room.

They both cried. Tall one lost his attitude. Short screamed so loud he got the teacher all for himself.

I left with a lump in my throat and went to have a proper coffee.


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