8/19/13

First Day of School . . .

Every detail, down to a new sign out front, covered.
My daughter starts second grade today. That is something I have to repeat to myself on a regular basis. It doesn't seem possible it has been seven years since we brought her home from the hospital nor that this will be our third "first day of school."

This year will be especially curious for me, though. For a week ago today the school we should have taken photos in front of caught fire. NO worries (in the grand scheme of things) . . . no teachers were hurt, no property (that I'm aware of) destroyed that can't be replicated (I would not say "replaced") but the fire and the timing made me think how timing works. As much as the turmoil of a school fire and a relocated elementary school causes, if the fire had started 48 hours later the school would have been filled with not only 40ish professionals but hundreds of children too. I imagine how fortunate the timing is and I appreciate the way the world works.

Fast forward to yesterday - just six days after the fire - and I went to "Meet the Teacher" night at the new (temporary) school on the other side of town. Everything planned, the school (otherwise idle but retained by the district for this exact type of scenario) cleaned and refreshed, rooms established, walls covered, happiness in the corridors, smiles on teacher and staff faces, excited kids running around, cookies and lemonade available in the cafeteria. So much calm. So much steadiness. So much comfort for parents - like me - that are otherwise over come with anxiety at the notion of a school year split and fractured.

I'm not worried about my child's health or safety (truth be told - she and her mother were in Alaska/Canada/on a cruise ship the entire week so no matter when the fire she would have been fine) but I was worried about how much of the year would be lost to the chaos. Turns out . . . three days. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that today, day one, will be a real start to the year and that the year will go swimmingly.

I want to thank the school district for its handling of this situation. From communication, to planning, to even how they will use tags on backpacks to monitor students after school instructions, this was incredibly well orchestrated. The teachers all seem positive that they have everything they need. The staff all seems ready to lead and enrich. The students who were at the event seem very comfortable and even happy to be on a new adventure.

We trust our children every day to go to school. We trust the buildings to be safe and secure. We trust the teachers to be smart, engaging, loving, and kind. We presume the other students will be friends and supporters to our own. We go off to our offices (or whatever we do with our days) and we look forward to picking them up later and hearing about their adventures.

I've never felt better about my assumption before in my life. If Second Grade goes as smoothly, as happily, and as "can do" as the last week has . . . it will be amazing.