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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy New Year!

Although the calendar tells us that the actual New Year doesn't begin until January, for most of us, the new year begins in September. That is the time when children and adults alike head back to school. They sport new clothes and carry new school supplies. The promise of a new year full of possibilities and adventure spans before them like the ocean stretching endlessly to the horizon. Back-to-school outfits offer the potential of transforming the identity, turning Plain Jane into the head cheerleader. A new teacher means erasing all the errors and mistakes of the previous year. All the pencils are long and sharp, their erasers complete. Backpacks are organized and free of trash and completed assignments.

Even for us non-students, September offers a new beginning. Parents send their children off to school, knowing that they will live a portion of their life free from their oversight and protection. School becomes a world where parents are seldom allowed and children can try out their wings. TV watchers look forward to the promise of new shows and new story-lines. The summer life we lived, full of vacations and campfires and trying to keep the backyard pool free of green algae, wanes as the days grow shorter and a chill creeps into the air. Dieters vow to lose a few pounds before the allure of Halloween candy calls them back to their usual routines.

In my house, this time of year means it is time to sort through the closets, pulling out the old clothes that no longer fit and making room for the newly purchased back to school things. This year I pulled a few items from the back of my seven-year-old's rack. "How about this Snow White costume?", I wondered. "Do you ever play dress up anymore?" "No.", she responded. "And this Sleeping Beauty dress? Should we get rid of that too?" "Yep.", she replied. So I bagged up the princess costumes, glancing at the movie poster for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on her wall as I did so. "Can I go watch TV now?", my daughter asked a few minutes later when the task was completed. I said she could and it wasn't long before I could hear the sounds of iCarly or some other Disney Channel sitcom. I wondered when she stopped watching cartoons and started watching shows featuring teenage actors dealing with acne and boyfriends. Was it about the same time she stopped pretending to be a princess and started imagining she was a vampire?

Enjoy these last weeks of summer and cherish too the idea that a new year can transform you into a different person.

6 comments:

Heather said...

Wow, it is amazing how fast these kids grow up these days! Enjoy the school year!

tessierose said...

Great post Amanda, this year my baby started the 8th grade and my oldest drove himself to school, I have a new normal, it's a little scarey.

MandaPanda said...

I got all teary when you were talking about your daughter. Does seem like they're growing up so fast these days.

Tina said...

I am now on round four-the first three already passed from baby to toddler to child to teenager to adult and now my last little child is moving into teen. I think we forget the speed at which they mature and it is always a surprise when it happens. With the sad (decreasing pretend time) comes good. I have loved getting to know my teenagers as they transition to adults and respect the women they become.

Raising children is a wonderful thing.

Tina

Michelle said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. Great post!

Tina said...

Hey Amanda--Im in Cottage Grove for a few days. Wanna meet for Coffee on Tuesday? We (hubby and I)will come through Eugene on our way home. I want to stop off and do a bit of shopping (I saw several cool boutiques as we looked for dinner tonight).

Tina my email-(tina@deadhat.com)-cell 503 380 8462