All across the area we have young people getting ready to start their last year of high school and another group getting ready to start their kindergarten year, as well as all grades in-between.
Both the first and the last can be difficult for parents as well as the children. I don't know which had more of an impact on the changes in my life.
Most of the time children take change better than mothers. I can remember the first day of kindergarten for both my children. I made it through the process without getting emotional in front of them, but sat in the car and cried for a long time before I could go on with my day.
It made me wonder if my mother felt that way when she left me with all of those strangers so many years ago. Up until the time I went through it, I always thought Mom probably smiled all the way home and celebrated having one less child home all day. When I started to kindergarten there was a morning group and an afternoon group. I still remember how long those first four hours seemed to last. All I could think about was getting home. I wondered if she would be there when it was over to pick me up. I was not sure how to get back home. It only took a few days for me to get comfortable and discover school was not so bad.
I was fortunate to get to stay home with my children when they were babies. I was home for their first three years and only worked part-time during their younger years. I also had family members to care for them on the days I worked.
Life is full of changes and we have to be ready for each phase of life. It is all about us for the first years, then we have children and it is all about them for the next 18 years, we survive the empty nest syndrome, and then in a few years we get to enjoy being grandparents.
As I have said before, I moved middle age as far as I could stretch it and now I have to accept the fact I am a senior citizen. I take all of the discounts available to my generation and, with the economy as it is, I may have to start looking for more.
I am thankful each morning I am able to get out of bed and go to work. I have noticed I do not have as much energy left over at the end of the workday as I once did.
Again, that is another phase of life I am dealing with.
We need to emphasize to our children and grandchildren the adventure of life as they start to kindergarten, graduate from high school, go on to college, start a career, and have families of their own.
We teach by example, so let's show them we never stop enjoying life at any age.
I hope everyone is ready for the new school year to begin. The first bell will be ringing in a couple of weeks if the students are ready or not.
I recently toured the new Riverside junior/senior high school building in Lake City. It is very nice and I know the students, teachers and staff will enjoy learning their way around the new building with all of the modern technology and labs.
More than likely, young people are the same as we were at their age and will not realize school is not so bad until they get out and look back.