School started last Wednesday. I bought my kids each a pair of Converse All-Stars, mostly as a bribe so my younger two wouldn’t complain about the uniforms this year, and also in a gesture of celebration. I loved going back to school when I was little, and I wanted the new shoes to help them get excited, too. The first day of school is, after all, the best day of the year, and they should get to be at least half as thrilled as I am.
After we had our breakfast of Peach and Raspberry French Toast (the recipe will be in the cookbook next year), took pictures on the front porch, and I dropped them off at school, I called my mom. I heaved a they’re-finally-back-in-school sigh. She gave me an empathetic cheer, and then reminded me she always used to spend the first day of school crying.
She back-tracked of course, telling me I have it harder (I’m a single mom), and I have a crazier life (I work), yadda, yadda, yadda. Whatever, she was just a better mom. I know it.
Despite my mom’s reluctance to have us back in school, she always made an effort to make the back to school time a happy transition, whether it was spending more money than she could afford on new clothes so we would fit in with our classmates, or setting up a homework table after school with mini Snickers and Milky Way bars as rewards for getting our work done.