Back To School, Or Why I Can't Wear Sweats And An Apron On My Head

Back To School, Or Why I Can't Wear Sweats And An Apron On My Head

4 kids, 3 new schools.

My oldest daughter Nora pointed out that each of my kids starts a new school this fall.

Next week, my twins are off to high school, my middle daughter starts kindergarten and my youngest starts preschool.

Nora also observed that this is a "once in a lifetime" occurrence, unless, of course, someone takes some extra college time. Young adults and school are many things, but not linear.

But for now, having four new starts is special, and rare.

In our home, new beginnings bring excitement, uncertainty and, certainly, some anxiety.

I think back to my first day of college, in a crowded dorm yet feeling very alone.  With time came new friends and independence.

My two younger children, off to kindergarten and preschool,  have no idea what lies ahead.  To be young is to be a blank canvas, uninhibited, without blinders or the pressure to fit in. To witness young kids dancing is to witness freedom. The same be said of kids becoming BFFs within minutes of meeting on the playground. Relationships are fragile at any age; to not realize it is a gift.

My daughter Drea, age 2, has a pair of hot pink pants covered with flowers in a retro pattern circa 1968.

Daughter Audra, entering kindergarten, wants long hair like Rapunzel. One of her first moves in the pool was to lean back over my arm and "wave" her hair back and forth in the water in order to feel it on her neck. Now she wears an apron backwards on her head, only in the house...for now.

My high schoolers, on the other hand, are a mix of independence and conformity with their running buddies.  Watching my son and a group of teens from behind, baggy pants, hoodies and hi-top gym shoes, I would have a hard time picking him out.

With age comes a gradual lack of pretense most apparent at second weddings or 30 year reunions.

Today among my peers and elders, life is less about making a statement than being genuine.  Chasing shadows and images is exhausting.

A elderly client came to my office the other day dressed in sweats and comfy shoes.  After he left I turned to a colleague and said, "Man, I can't wait for the day I can stroll around in sweats."

I loved the juxtaposition. Here was a man in a corporate setting dressed for a day at the park.

It does come around. My goal is to show up for work some day with an apron hanging from my head, flowery pants, comfy shoes and sweats.

How do you adjust to change?  I would enjoy hearing from you.

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