Amidst the lingering daylight of long summer evenings, week long vacations, weekend getaways, swim lessons, art camp, and summer school, I find myself anticipating with joy the month of September for one solitary reason…school supplies!
My heart flutters an extra beat at the thought of browsing aisles filled with crisp cool sheets of lined paper, nostalgic rows of peechee folders, and empty binders just waiting to be filled with fresh lessons, learning, and knowledge.
There’s a scene from my favorite movie, “You’ve Got Mail”, that always floats about in my mind at this time of year. Tom Hanks writes in an e-mail to autumn-loving Meg Ryan that he would “buy her a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils”, if only he knew where she lived. What a perfectly novel idea for a gal like me. My husband did this twice, the first time with a dozen tan Ticonderoga lead pencils wrapped in a yellow ribbon, and the second time with Prang colored pencils staked into the soil of some potted daffodils like a happy little rainbow picket fence.
I suppose this must bear witness to the fact that I am, at heart, ever the eager student. Stepping into the role of MPA president this year, I was blessed with the gift of re-organizing the volumes of paperwork accumulated by the last president over her glowing three year tenure. I have no doubt that those of you who don’t know me suppose that I’m speaking sarcastically here. But you would be wrong. I really, truly enjoyed the eight careful hours that it took to sort, stack, collate and staple the tangible evidence of so many people’s cumulative hard work. I reveled in hole punching each sheet and filing it behind the appropriately labeled index tab. It was an honor to be trusted with such precious records. And they are. Precious, that is. To me and so many others.
Because what this weathered hand-me-down filing box packed full of paper, notes, and numbers is proof of is that one thing which we all, as parents, hold in common: our deepest, most innate and immeasurable love for our children. The work of so many volunteers, so many hours, and for what? For the sake of our children. It is a remarkable myriad of parental talents that brought these volumes to rest here, beside my desk, therein affording me the opportunity to step, once again, into my favorite role: student. A student buying school supplies.
I hope that there are at least a few of you out there who can identify with this joy, albeit a bit odd. There is one thing that I can guarantee, however. If you watch the faces of your children as you accompany them into the air-conditioned bliss of your local office supply store this fall, I’ll bet that through the giddy grin on your child’s face the kindergartener within you will recognize her own. In the case of my family, I venture to bet that my smile might still be the brightest of the bunch come September.