It was my favorite time of the year, a time that most kids dread.
I did not.
I couldn’t wait to get back to school.
The marble notebook, a fresh box of Crayola crayons, a new pencil box filled with #2’s, the large pink eraser, plastic protractor, a wooden ruler with a sharp metal edge that would slice through flesh, the blunt end safety scissors that would barely cut paper.
Before Elmer’s glue, there was Le Page Mucilage, with a rubber tip applicator that only worked well if unclogged, mostly during the first week.
In my school, fountain pens were required, using a desk-mounted ink bottle, inches from the back of another student’s head. What could go wrong there ?
We carried book bags that looked more like brief cases. Backpacks had yet to arrive. We were allowed a colorful metal lunch box, with a small thermos that would soon smell like sour milk, no matter how you tried to clean it.
Except for the shoes. We got a new pair of Buster Browns every September.
They had to last all year, no matter how much our feet did or did not grow. It was understood.
School was where I thrived. I loved everything about it.
Some kids cherished the summer. I counted the days until school was back in session. I kept that mostly to myself, growing up.
Much later, I was to become a teacher. It made perfect sense to remain in that setting for as long as possible.
Life had other plans for me outside of the classroom. But I never forgot the feeling.
When I pass those families gathering supplies, and I see the sour young faces checking off items on a provided list, I just smile.
It’s that time of the year.