First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for many students. I know because of the copious amount of obligatory “back to school” photos that showed up on my Facebook news feed. Don’t get me wrong, if I had kids going back to school, I would be posting too. I’m not complaining, really, it actually just makes me sad. I love the first day of school with the floors all shiny from having been waxed over the summer to the clean, crisp new outfits everyone is donning. As a school counselor, I look forward to reuniting with my colleagues to hear of their over-the-summer adventures and planning to make this the “best year yet!”. And, on the night before the first day, I still have trouble sleeping. Probably because of having shifted my sleep pattern to include an 8am wake up but also because I get excited at seeing my students again. In middle school, they grow so much over the summer! And, they mature (well, most of them). I can’t tell you how cool this part of my job is (was). And that is why I am sad. This is my second “first day of school” being unemployed. And! The only way to explain it is as a sense of loss. When the ads for back to school clothes and supplies started to come on, the pit in my stomach began. It was like the approaching anniversary of the death of a loved one. I grieve. I cry. My heart breaks. Because I love, more than I can say, my job. I love my students, even the difficult ones (that’s a topic for another day). I love school spirit, attending school productions, and watching connections between students and teachers grow. I love the anticipation of snow days, holidays, field trips, and school vacations. I even love the crazy days when I collapse as soon as I get home. Well, maybe I didn’t love them so much before but, now that I don’t have them, I want them back! I want it all back…the good, the bad, and the ugly of the job. The paperwork, the silly adolescent girl problems, and the Axe emanating from the boys locker room. I miss helping those kids. And, I really really miss the first day of school…

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