I’ve had the little ditty from Billy Madison stuck in my head all day. (If you don’t know it yet, don’t worry — you will.) Tomorrow is the day I’ve been waiting for: my return to kindergarten at my elementary school.
I’ve got my lunch packed up: veggie & cheese fritatta, an organic peach, and half a piece of tomato bread. (Darren: “No one’s gonna trade you for that!”) It’s in a brown bag with my name on it. My mom offered to put a little note inside like in the old days.
I’ve had a lot of memory triggers today that gave me a taste of what’s to come over the next few months. I had to drive into Petaluma today on my old route to high school, and I popped in a random mix tape, circa 1996. It included:
- “Lovefool” – The Cardigans
- “Just a Girl” – No Doubt
- “‘Til I Hear It From You” – Gin Blossoms
- “Alone” – Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
- “Female of the Species” – Space (Are they really saying “more deadlier than the male”?)
It’s crazy how the lyrics have taken up permanent residence in a corner of my brain, which I probably could be using to remember what 12 x 9 equals. But then I’d miss out on belting out the Blues Traveler while cruising down Adobe Road, feeling like a 16-year-old.
Another blast from the past today was catching up by phone with an old classmate from high school who works for the Sonoma Index-Tribune. We hadn’t spoken since graduation but talked as easily as if we saw each other every day. Our 10-year reunion is approaching in a few weeks, and we’re both looking forward to sharing the evolutions of our teenage selves that are light on the zits, heavy on the sass. I’m hoping to track down classmates from all my old schools and see how we relate to each other as grown-ups.
Here’s what I know about my first day of school, 2008. I’m going to…
- Walk to school, as I did from a young age. I guess I’ll carry a backpack, since as a tomboy, I wouldn’t have been caught dead with a purse.
- Get the kindergarteners comfortable in the classroom as their parents leave. I’m considering wearing shin guards.
- Help the kids shape dough into gingerbread people (not just men!), which will be baked and then disappear, inspiring a several-day search that will orient the kids to the school.
- Introduce Reschool Yourself at the after-school staff meeting. I’ll see several teachers who taught at the school while I was a student there. I think it’ll be strange to chat with them as an adult, and I’m not sure I’ll be OK with calling them by their first names.
I expect a lot of other memories to surface: the excitement and apprehension of starting a new year (and the first year, in the kindergarteners’ case) with new clothes and school supplies; the schoolyard games like “Girls Chase Boys”; and the daily routines like recess and snack time. God knows that if I lie down on a nap rug, after a week of sleep deprivation, there will be no waking me without a fight.
After school tomorrow, I promise to give you the full report: You ask me how my day was, and I’ll say, “Fine.”
Well, here goes nothin’….
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What do you remember about your first day of school — of any year, and especially kindergarten?