Happy New Year!

Traci S. Sanders

Does anyone else feel like the start of the school year is the actual New Year?

It must be that sense of a new beginning. Even if it’s the same building, it just seems different. Maybe it’s because the schools are scrubbed, the walls bare, school supplies untouched. There is a shine, a freshness, that didn’t exist at the end of the year. Anything seems possible at the start of a school year.

As a former school librarian, I remember well the very first day. Everyone files into class, hesitant and excited…some wave to their friends; others are waiting for new ones. Everyone is looking around, then at me, waiting for what this year might bring.

As the day goes on, a slight ease settles in. An “I remember this…” alongside what is unfamiliar, and together they set the year on a path comprised of surprising outcomes and moments of discovery.

It is like this all day until the final bell rings. And then it’s the sound that has been around for generations – moving chairs, dropped backpacks, books piled high with a thump, and pencils rolling towards the side of the desk before thwap! they are caught by the palm of the hand.

Finally, the mad dash to the door to line up with whispers and fidgety feet.

And then my favorite part – when the doors open and waves of children go in search of their parents who, when they see their child smile, can’t help but smile as well. Success.