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Such a simple and over used title to this post but what else can one call it?  First day of the rest of your life?  First day of no more summer? Ha, ha the joke’s on you?  Nope, first day of school works for me.

As parents we sometimes pretend that we are extremely happy when the time comes to be rid of our children at the start of school or the end of Christmas and Easter breaks.

Taking a step back and reflecting on the subject the beginning of a new school year~ I agree it might bring a little more quiet and tranquility to your home but look at the hustle and bustle it creates; shopping for new school clothes, fighting crowds, morning-afternoon traffic, homework, fighting over bathrooms in the mornings, children eating breakfast before their eyes are quite open. The list is endless.

I enjoy the freedom that summer gives a child ~ freedom to experience a release from the daily grind, freedom to explore and be themselves, an escape from the “rules” of life.  I enjoy having my children home and close by and seeing their faces through out the day so the beginning of school, that first day back, brings excitement but a little sadness to my heart as well.

I have a self-made tradition that I always take a vacation day on the first and last days of school each year with this year being no exception.  This affords me the ability to take them to school, pick them up and talk about their experiences during the day without any worries of not working.

I also must, as so many parents do, photograph them on the first day.  This simple tradition usually occurs by the same tree~in the same spot~in the front yard~each year, no kidding.  I am not a big indoor photographer as the pictures have a tendency to seem so stiff and set, but early morning photographs are tricky when the ground is damp with dew and we are in our new school shoes.  Because of this we bypass the more scenic spots in the yard for the same old hickory tree, but I do like that tree.

This first day of school was different however in that our Livey girl was not here to pose for my early morning photo session.  This is the first, first day of school, that she is not in the picture with the boys and that saddened me a bit too.  She has always been the center, the liveliness, the radiant smile, the balance between the boys and I missed her this morning.  She did inform me that she had duly put in her 12 years of first morning photographs and done her time in elementary, middle and high school. I also received a text with her first morning photograph from Wilmington. The Honeybee made a brilliant effort in calling her brothers to wish them well.

 I do cherish my children’s first day back to school and sometimes we do a repeat of the process on the second day too, just for my sake.  But I do miss them already, the ones near and far.  Happy first days back to school my huckleberries three!