First days are best because they are new beginnings

Written by Toni Lavigne-Conway | Special to The Valley Gazette

The dog days of summer have come to an end and with it, the beginning of a new school year.

I don’t know about you but as September rolls around, I can still feel the excitement of back to school.

I’m even more excited this year because my granddaughter Ava will be going to school for her first time.

Although she will be in grade 2, allergies prevented her from attending school in Oklahoma because unfortunately schools there didn’t make allowances for her food allergies. Thank goodness that Canada is much more supportive and accommodating, recognizing the extreme safety issues for any child who must deal with this.

So, you can imagine her excitement (and ours too!) as she heads out the door this week, lunch packed and her little backpack in hand, ready to take on the world.

Do you remember how you felt for your first days each fall? Despite my age-diminished memory these days, I remember almost every single one.

The thing I remember most was all the prep that lead up to it and how the shopping that proceeded the big day was something I always looked forward to.

With 6 kids in our family and a firm budget, there was only so much to spend on a new outfit and school supplies, but somehow my mom also ensured that we had something special to wear on the first day and a pencil case full of new pencils and an eraser.

Later, when we were old enough to have summer jobs, we supplemented our wardrobes with what was the latest trends (anyone still remember those two-toned flared corduroys?) that is until high school, when I attended St. Joseph’s College and the only outfit I got to wear was a uniform that consisted of a green cardigan, gold shirt, knee highs and a “lovely” green plaid kilt that had to fall strictly just above the knee. Because the kilts were quite pricey, the only new clothes each year after that were the socks and a few of the shirts.

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