A Letter to The First Day of School

Dear First Day,

By Airman 1st Class Jensen Stidham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I can’t believe that it has been 36 years already.

I have to admit that I barely remember our first encounter, but I imagine that in the scheme of things it wasn’t a whole lot different than our reunion again today after 36 years.

What I absolutely love about you is your ability to bring out absolutely every emotion and feeling imaginable. You bring nervous anticipation, apprehension of the unknown, utter excitement of new opportunity, fear of acceptance, and promise of an exciting future are just a few of the emotions that percolate when you return for your annual rendezvous.

You have grown up with me and been there around every corner, through elementary, junior high, and high school you set the stage, gearing me up for an amazing year. In college and university, you continued to greet me each year as I transitioned to adulthood and my professional life. I was excited and relieved to find you waiting for me with the exact same spirit on my first day of teaching, just as if I were back in kindergarten once again. The same old you was also there as I left the classroom to administration. Even as a parent, you didn’t forget to be there. You can truly be counted on to be exactly what you need to be regardless of circumstance.

For this, it is absolutely easy to be enamoured with you. Your faithful annual visit comes without prejudice. You have the amazing ability to influence countless people simultaneously without creating a hint of jealousy amongst all of us. On a superficial level you are the same for everyone, a circled day on the calendar that comes once a year. But the truth is that you have a special and unique relationship that respects not only my unique needs, but the needs of everyone you touch.

There is much debate over who appreciates you more; the students, the parents, the teachers, the bus drivers, or even the department stores that are quick to make a profit on your coat tails. The truth is, each and every person that you visit each year can undeniably say that ‘I am most important to you’. I love your unique ability to not play favorites, yet treat absolutely each individual as if they are absolutely the most important person to you. To me, you are simply the best.

In all of this, I have yet to express your finest, defining quality that truly makes you the one that I can’t do without:

Hope and Opportunity

Each year on your annual visit, you erase the past, create an isolated pocket of perfection giving me the hope of an ideal future. Anything can truly happen each year when you return. You encapsulate the promise that anything and everything is possible. You give me the opportunity to ignore what has been, and chart a new course of endless possibility.

I love your unconditional dedication to truly make your visit a highlight of your year and thank you for once again making the time to be with me today. Although I will thoroughly enjoy the stage that you have set for me today, I am also secretly in anticipation of getting the chance to see you once again next year.

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